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A  SEASON  AMONG 

'THE  BANKERS" 

A  TALE  QJ 

SEA  SHORE  LIFE 

BY  GREGORY  SEAWORTHY. 

Philadelphia, 
A.HART  iaie  CAREY8  HART. 


^^>-^p^%^^d 


:  Sirtdav^s.Iith.  ThJU-f 


NAG'S    HEAD: 


TWO  MONTHS  AMONG  "THE  BANKERS," 


A  STORY  OF  SEA-SHOEE  LIFE  AND  MANNERS. 


(i  La,  nous  trouverons  sans  peine, 
Avec  toi,  le  verre  en  main, 
L'homme  apres  qui  Diogene 
Courut  si  long-temps  en  vain  !" 

J.  B.  Rousseau. 

;- 1  was  born  to  speak  all  mirth  and  no  matter  !" 

Beatrice. 


BY    GREGORY   SEAWORTHY 


PHILADELPHIA: 
A.  HART,  late  CAREY  AND  HART. 

1850. 


Entered  according  to  the  act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1851,  by 

A.  HAltT,  late  CAREY  AND  HART, 

in  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  for  the  Eastern  District  of 
Pennsylvania. 

I 


PHILADELPHIA: 
T.  K.  AND  P.  G.  COLLINS,  PRINTERS. 


TO 

PARK    BENJAMIN,   ESQ. 

My  dear  Sir: — 

When,  at  the  idle  suggestion  of  a  friend,  I  had 
whilcd  away  some  of  the  else  unoccupied  hours  of  a 
five  months'  passage  homeward,  by  writing  a  book,  you 
were  pleased  to  pat  the  shy  bantling  encouragingly  on 
the  head,  and  to  say  a  friendly  word  to  the  Publisher. 
May  I,  in  acknowledgment  of  that  kindness,  present 
another,  the  youngest,  to  your  Burchcll-like  caresses,  in 
the  belief  of  its  fewer  imperfections,  and  with  the  con- 
ventional, but  hearty,  assurance  that  I  am 

Yours,  always, 
GREGORY  SEAWORTHY. 

Merry  Him,, 

Bertie  6V,  N.  C. 


CONTENTS. 


CHAPTER  I. 

THE  PLACK— THE  DEPARTURE,  .  .  .  .13 

CHAPTER  II. 

THE  LUNCH— A  GOOD  NIGHT'S  REST—DAYLIGHT,  .       18 

CHAPTER  III. 

THE  LANDING— THE  HOUSE        .  .  .  .23 

CHAPTER  IV. 

BILIOUS  FEVER, 26 

CHAPTER  V. 

A  STORM  ON  THE  BANKS,  .     •       .  .  .  .32 

CHAPTER  VI. 

THE  CHAPEL, 37 

CHAPTER  VII. 

THE  DOGS, 4I 


VI  CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER  VIII. 

THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAK8,         .  .45 

CHAPTER  IX. 

OLD  JACK, .      70 

CHAPTER  X. 

SAND-FIDDLERS, 75 

CHAPTER  XI. 

THE  PACKETS, 79 

CHAPTER  XII. 

THE  WRECK, ,  .      85 

CHAPTER  XIII. 

NAG'S  HEAD— AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS,        .  .  .  .96 

CHAPTER  XIV. 

ROANOKE  ISLAND, 126 

CHAPTER  XV. 

THE  SERVANTS, 141 

CHATTER  XVI. 

THE  FRESH  PONDS, 149 

CHAPTER  XVII. 

AN  EXCURSION  TO  THE  INLET 153 


CONTENTS.  Vll 

CHAPTER  XVHL 

AMUSEMENTS,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .159 

CHAPTER  XIX. 

THE  BANKERS,         .  .  .  .  .  .161 

CHAPTER  XX. 

THE  DEPARTURE, 178 


NAG'S    HEAD. 

CHAPTER  I. 

THE   PLACE. — THE   DEPARTURE. 

Worthy  reader,  a  word  with  you !  Were  you  ever 
at  Nag's  Head?  Heard  you  ever  of  it  ?  I  shall  provoke 
no  jealousy  on  the  part  of  Mr.  Wiley,  the  author  of 
"Roanoke,  or  where  is  Utopia,"  by  saying  a  word  or 
two  of  this  Ultima  Thule  in  The  Old  North  State 
Geography. 

Briefly,  then,  a  glance  at  the  map  will  show  you  a 
long  bank,  varying  from  a  few  yards  to  some  furlongs  in 
width,  extending  like  a  vast  breakwater  along  almost 
the  entire  coast  of  the  Carolinas.  Through  this  there 
are  several  inlets  from  the  sea,  leading  into  a  cordon  of 
beautiful  sounds  (among  which  the  Albemarle  and  the 
Pamlico  are  the  most  considerable),  which  separate 
"  The  Banks"  from  the  mainland.  In  some  places,  this 
ridge  is  as  arid  as  the  shores  of  the  Dead  Sea.  In 
others,  a  dwarfish  growth  of  pine  and  live-oak  light  up 
its  grim  features  into  a  smile  of  hospitable  welcome, 
from  your  packet-experience  of  bodily  compressibility 
to  the  free  air  and  unfettered  gait  of  The  Land.  Not 
a  little  of  the  picturesque,  too,  peeps  pleasantly  out 
2 


14  nag's  head. 

from  among  the  "Upguoines"  (as  the  Bankers  call  the 
oak- crested  acclivities),  and,  if  I  may  burden  the  reader 
"with  my  own  preferences,  Nag's  Head, 

""With  some  fair  spirit  for  its  minister," 

appears  to  me  to  possess  some  very  decided  features  of 
comfort  not  enumerated  in  any  of  the  geographies  as 
belonging  to  Cobi  or  Sahara,  or  whatever  other 
"desert"  the  titled  bard  affected  to  long  for  as  his 
"dwelling-place."  May  I  venture  the  opinion  that  his 
lordship  would  sooner  have  paid  rent  in  the  dust  and 
cobwebs  of  Grub  Street? 

Nag's  Head  is  in  latitude  35°  30'  North,  on  a  nar- 
row part  of  The  Banks,  and  about  midway  between 
Kill-devil  Hills  and  the  New  Inlet ;  just  at  the  northern 
entrance  to  Roanoke  Sound.  Enough  of  description. 
It  was  never  my  forte. 

THE  DEPARTURE. 

To  begin  at  the  beginning.  It  was  on  the  afternoon 
of  a   pleasant  day  in  July,  of  this  present  year  of  our 

Lord,  that  we  left  the  pretty  village  of  H ,  on  the 

Perquimans.  I  say  we,  not  intending  thereby  to  appro- 
priate that  much  abused  part  of  speech  to  myself;  for 
there  were  little  fewer  than  a  score  of  us.  On  the  morn- 
ing of  that  day  might  have  been  seen  a  very  manifest 
excitement  among  the  carts  (Kyarts,  d  la  Carolina)  of 
"the  aforesaid  precinct;"  all  the  more  manifest  from 
the  contrast  with  their  ordinary  meek  demeanor.  For, 
on  almost  any  day  of  the  long,  lazy,  listless,  lingering 
(vide  Canning,  passim  !)  days  of  midsummer,  you  shall 
see  them  with  heads  sluggishly  hung  down,  Quaker-like, 


THE  DEPARTURE.  15 

unpretending,  passionless — perhaps  I  might  say  aristo- 
cratic, in  their  bearing  and  presence. 

The  mules,  too,  wore  the  air  of  bustle  ;  and  their 
gravity  stood  out  in  large  relief  from  the  glistening 
eyes  and  teeth  of  their  sable  drivers,  glee-inspired  with 
the  excitement  of  departure. 

The  carts  were  laden  with  every  imaginable  species 
of  household  conveniences,  and  were  kept  in  motion  for 
some  hours  in  conveying  to  the  river's  bank  the  thou- 
sand and  one  articles  of  furniture  necessary  for  a  two 
months'  residence  at  Nag's  Head. 

Three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  was  the  appointed 
hour  for  our  departure  ;  but  it  passed,  and  the  good 
schooner  John  Edmondson  still  swung  lazily  at  her  moor- 
ings. Four  o'clock  came — and  passed ;  and  five ;  and 
six  ;  and  then  the  carriage  made  its  tardy  appearance, 
with  as  ill  a  grace  as  a  late  guest  at  a  dinner.  There 
were  already  some  few  loiterers  on  the  shore,  but  their 
number  increased  and  multiplied  ;  for  accompanying 
and  following  the  carriage  was  a  throng  ofv  masters, 
misses,  and  servants,  to  see  us  fairly  under  way.  Such 
a  bustle  !  The  decks  were  burdened  with  a  quaint, 
domestic-looking,  moving-day  medley  of  furniture  and 
luggage,  among  which  there  arise  mistily  to  my  re- 
collection dim  images  that  take  the  shape  of  jugs, 
trays,  baskets,  axes,  beds  and  bedding,  cart-wheels  and 
bodies  ruthlessly  divorced,  parasols,  a  venerable  um- 
brella, and  a  bottle  of  Sands's  sarsaparilla.  In  the 
waist  was  a  Botany  Bay-looking  colony  of  ducks  and 
hens  ;  and,  forward,  Old  Joe,  the  sleek,  happy-looking 
boy,  ingloriously  destined  to  two  months'  hard  labor  in 
the  sands  of  Nag's  Head.  Aft,  thronging  the  poop, 
the  taffrail,  the  companion-way  and  the  cabin,  were  the 


16  nag's  head. 

small  folks,  shouting,  dancing,  antic-mad ;  while  John, 
the  baby — long  life  to  him ! — crowed  like  a  young 
Stentor. 

At  last  the  fasts  were  cast  off  from  the  trees  on  the 
river's  bank,  and  the  draw  removed  to  enable  us  to  pass 
the  floating-bridge.  Up  went  mainsail,  foresail  and  jib  ; 
hard  a  starboard  went  the  helm,  and  we  were  soon  mid- 
way in  the  channel  of  the  beautiful  Perquimans.  A  flut- 
ter of  bonnets  and  white  handkerchiefs,  and  a  waving  of 
hats,  were  the  lingering  symptoms  of  an  expiring  good- 
by.  The  breeze  freshened.  The  sun  sank  lazily  down 
to  his  rest,  and  ere  long  the  pale  beams  of  the  waning 
moon, 

"  That  bring  into  the  homesick  mind 
All  we  have  loved  or  left  behind," 

were  glistening  over  river  and  village.  I  was  fast 
lapsing  into  a  sentimental  abstraction,  when  I  was 
recalled  to  consciousness  by  many  a  laugh  from  young 
and  happy  compagnons  du  voyage,  and  a  score  of  ques- 
tions from  the  same  source. 

The  breeze  freshened,  not  so  much,  by  any  means, 
as  to  give  the  most  timid  any  fear  that  the  John  Ed- 
mondson  (that  ever  a  vessel  should  have  such  a  misno- 
mer !)  would  carry  away  any  of  her  spars,  save  in  the 
common  and  entirely  harmless  way  in  which  vessels  al- 
ways carry  away  their  spars  when  they  leave  port.  The 
little  schooner  behaved  cleverly ;  looking  up  in  the 
wind's  eye  without  ever  winding ;  turning  with  almost 
military  precision  and  quickness  on  her  heel,  and  giv- 
ing an  occasional  bound  (for  all  the  world  like  a  school- 
girl's "  hop,  skip,  and  a  jump"  after  study  hours)  as  if 
she  scented  the  breath  of  Old  Ocean  himself. 


THE  DEPARTURE.  17 

Of  course,  there  was  no  sea-sickness  ;  no  shrieks  of 
feminine  alarm;  no  tragic  "  0  captain !"  with  clasped 
hands  d  la  Siddons.  Even  the  geese  and  hens  were 
grave,  and  decorously  maintained  a  high-toned  retinue 
worthy  of  the  first  circles ;  while  Old  Joe's  resigned 
gravity  was  a  tower  of  strength  to  the  other  quadrupeds  ; 
videlicet,  the  two  dogs,  Jumper,  the  puppy  (more  of 
him  anon),  and  Hector,  some  years  his  senior.  I  had 
last  seen  old  Hector  the  gayest  of  the  gay,  in  the  canine 
circles ;  now, 

"  Quantum  mutatus  ab  illo 


Hectore  \? 

Both  the  dogs  were  tied  to  the  prostrate  wheels  of  the 
dismembered  cart. 

The  mate,  Mr.  Spunyarn,  outdid  himself.  He  was 
a  spare,  hardy,  red-faced  man,  and  scanty  justice  is 
done  him  in  saying  that  he  was  busy.  There  was  no 
place  where  he  was  not  present  "in  the  body."  No- 
thing escaped  his  vigilance ;  and  the  manner  in  which 
he  performed  his  multifarious   duties,   from  the  time 

when  he  hauled  in  the  bow-fasts  at  H to  the  end 

of  the  voyage,  was  worthy  of  what  Mistress  Budd  would 
have  called  "  a  full-jiggered  ship." 

The  evening  waned  apace,  and  all  hearts  were  happy 
in  the  prospect  and  assurance  of  "  a  quiet  night  of  it" 
and  a  pleasant  passage.  We  gathered  together  in  a 
little  knot  on  the  weather-quarter,  and  sung.  As  the 
hours  passed,  symptoms  of  drowsiness  began  to  manifest 
themselves,  and  one  by  one  the  children  and  the  ladies 
disappeared.  I  was  about  to  follow  their  example,  when 
Gilbert  came  up  to  me  with  a  touch  of  his  dilapidated 
hat,  and  a  most  deferential  scrape  of  the  dexter  foot, 

2* 


18  nag's  head. 

"Massa  Greg'ry." 

"Well,  Gilbert?" 

"  Ise  got  a  message  for  you." 

"  A  message  I — for  me  f 

"Yes,  massa." 

"  What  is  it  Gilbert  ?"  said  I,  when  he  had  gone  for- 
ward. 

"  Why,  you  see,  Massa  Greg'ry — hope  you  won't  take 
no  'fence  of  the  liberty — it's  cole  an'  damp  like,  and  de 
boys  is  got  a  little  whisky  !" 

With  a  laugh  at  Gilbert's  mysterious  message  (low  be 
it  spoken),  I  tasted  the  Monongahela  and  went  aft. 

And  then ;  but  suppose  we  begin  a  new  chapter ! 


CHAPTER  II. 

THE    LUNCH. — A    GOOD    NIGHT'S   REST. — DAYLIGHT. 

And  then — as  I  was  about  to  say  at  the  close  of  the 
last  chapter — the  lunch. 

J had   somehow   discovered  (such  a  genius  for 

discovery  should  be  encouraged  and  fostered)  a  tray, 
wherein  were  deposited  indiscriminately, 

"  Tros  Tyriusque,  nullo  discrimine," 

a  goodly  ham  and  a  loaf  of  corn  bread,  with  other 
eatables,  to  which,  after  the  solemn  "  message"  I  had 
received,  I  was  prepared  to  do  what  is  usually  called,  in 

speaking  of  such  matters,  justice.     Nor  were  J and 

Capt.  E- ■  at  all  averse,  to  all  human  appearance,  to 


THE  LUNCH.  19 

the  performance  of  this  part  of  the  duties  of  the  voy- 
age. Not  Horseshoe  Robinson  himself  could  have 
made  greater  havoc  among  the  contents  of  the  tray 
than  did  we,  though  the  worthy  soldier  would,  out  of  all 
question,  have  given  the  account  of  killed,  wounded,  and 
missing  with  somewhat  greater  military  precision. 

Midnight  came.  And  let  me,  "  in  this  connection," 
as  the  ministers  sometimes  say,  remark  to  the  reader 
thp.t  nothing  tragic  is  intended  to  be  conveyed  in  this 
much-abused  and  overladen  expression.  Nothing  like 
what  such  an  expression  might  shadow  forth  in  "  The 
Bravo  of  Venice,"  "  The  Three  Spaniards,"  or  the 
Tales  of  the  Inquisition  ! 

I  say  midnight  had  come.  And  in  this  there  is  no- 
thing remarkable.  Nor  is  it  more  remarkable  that  at 
that  hour  we  should  begin  to  feel  drowsy.  For  the 
captain,  he  was  far  too  anxious  for  the  safety  of  his  pas- 
sengers to  allow  himself  any  repose.  He  stood  as 
silently  and  watchfully  as  a  sentry  on  outpost  duty,  at 
the  helm,  keeping  "a  bright  look-out  to  windward."  His 
mate  was  not  less  on  the  alert ;  and  I  felt,  as  I  went 
below,  the  last  of  the  stragglers,  that,  so  far  as  human 
foresight  and  watchfulness  were  concerned,  we  might 
rest  as  calmly 

" as  when  sleep  approached  me,  nestlingl 

From  the  sportive  toils  of  thoughtless  childhood." 

I  went  below.     There,  on  the  cabin  floor,  lay  J , 


in  an  attitude  which  I  thought  was  meant  to  convey  the 
idea  that  he  was  asleep. 

If  I  have  not  already  done  so,  it  is  proper  to  say  here 
to  the  reader  that  the  day  had  been  a  warm  one.  The 
month  of  July,  in  the  northern  hemisphere,  usually  is 


20  nag's  head. 

warm.  The  latter  part  of  the  month  is  not  usually  much 
cooler,  I  think  I  may  venture  to  say,  than  the  first.  It 
may  also  be  remarked  that  the  cabin  of  a  schooner  of 
sixty  tons,  when  the  schooner  aforesaid  has  lain  in  a 
river  sixty  miles  from  the  ocean,  with  a  July  sun  melt- 
ing the  pitch  from  her  decks  for  some  twelve  hours,  is 
probably  not  what  might  be  called  in  dog-days  even 
"a  cool  place."     Without  any  disrespect,  moreover,  to 

Capt.  E ,  it  is  proper  here  to  state  that  I  found  in 

his  berth  a  feather  bed,  such  as  would  have  delighted 
Madam  0' Grady,  with  a  most  generous  supply  of  cover- 
ing thereunto  appertaining. 

I  turned  in  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  0  July  and  August! 

0  the  coast  of  Africa!  0  desert  of  Sahara!  and  0 
whatever  other  warm  places  not  herein  mentioned  and 
set  forth  the  fame  of  which  has  come  to  mortal  ears! 

1  can  but  pause  and  laugh  as  I  write  it  down.  I  turned 
in  to  sleep  in  the  captain's  berth.  With  a  constancy 
and  with  a  perseverance,  such  as  I  flatter  myself  have 
not  been  known  since  the  days  of  Latimer  and  Ridley, 
did  I  essay  to  close  my  eyes.  And  here  permit  me  to 
observe  how  unnecessary  and  inadequate  an  invention 
was  Dr.  Thompson's  steam  bath!  What  nostrums  are 
your  medical  sudorifics  and  diaphoretics!  Talk  of 
night-sweats  to  me  I  The  very  recollection  throws  me 
into  a  perspiration. 

The  reader  is  prepared  for  the  result.  I  turned  out, 
that  is  to  say,  I  rose  ;  and  after  mature  deliberation  as 
to  what  could  be  done  "under  the  circumstances,"  I 

finally  laid  down  beside  J on  the  cabin  floor,  my 

long  legs  being  very  literally 

"  Cabin* d,  cribb'd,  confined," 


A  GOOD  NIGHT'S  REST.  21 

by  the  narrow  dimensions  of  the  apartment.  To  com- 
plete the  many  tendencies  which  my  worthy  reader  has 
already  discovered  towards  "a  good  night's  rest," 
J set  up  one  of  the  most  dismal,  low-pitched,  mo- 
notonous, heart-rending  snores  that  it  has  been  my  lot 
to  listen  to  in  "this  sublunary  vale  of  tears!" 

"  0  Dii  immortales  \" 

After  a  feverish  sleep,  I  awoke  unrefreshed,  and  went 
on  deck.  The  John  Edmondson  was  jumping,  and 
pitching,  and  rolling,  and  performing  divers  similar 
antics  not  announced  in  the  bill,  very  evidently  to  the 
intense  satisfaction  of  our  worthy  mate.  With  the  wea- 
ther tiller-rope  wound  tightly  around  the  tiller,  and  lean- 
ing "  to  windward"  at  an  angle  of  forty -five  degrees,  his 
eye  wandering  alternately  to  the  binnacle,  the  wind's- 
eye,  and  the  head  of  the  sails,  did  he  guide  the  good 
schooner  on  her  way.  Not  Palinurus  himself — reve- 
rently be  it  said — could  have  better  conned  our  little 
craft.  He  said  never  a  word ;  but  an  occasional  roll  of 
the  quid  from  the  lee  to  the  weather  cheek,  a  setting 
together  of  the  teeth,  and  a  sort  of  complacent  smirk 
peculiar  to  an  old  salt,  and  unlike  the  French  or  Span- 
ish grimace,  all  said,  as  plainly  as  words  could  have 
said  it, 

"No  you  don't,  old  lady !  I've  got  the  helm  myself, 
an'  you  needn't  undertake  to  play  any  of  your  tantrums 
with  me!" 

And  then  he  would  look  at  the  tiller,  and  the  sky 
"to-windward,"  and  the  sails,  with  an  expression  that 
said  very  plainly, 

"  Wal,  I  should  like  to  know  what's  got  into  the 


22  nag's  head. 

bloody  old  barky  to  carry  such  a  weather-helm  to- 
night!" 

Attached  to  the  taffrail,  and  just  beneath  the  tra- 
veler, was  a  bench  for  the  convenience  of  passengers. 
Upon  this  I  lay  down,  and,  to  my  infinite  satisfaction, 
got  a  very  comfortable  nap.  When  I  awoke,  day  was 
dawning. 

"  There's  Nag's  Head,  Mr.  Seaworthy,"  said  our 
polite  captain;  and  I  looked.  And  there,  in  the  gray 
of  the  morning,  its  sand-hills,  and  live  oaks,  and  white 
cottages  dimly  visible,  lay  the  promised  land,  my  home 
for  two  months, 

-       NAG'S  HEAD. 

Forth  from  the  cabin  and  hold,  and  from  their  rest- 
ing-places on  deck,  came  passengers  and  servants,  not 
many  of  us  all,  as  may  well  be  supposed,  en  grande 
toilette.     The  youngsters  led  the  way. 

"Oh-h-h-h!  oh!  oh!  there's  Nag's  Head!"  "Do 
look  at  the  sand-hills!"  "  And  there's  Roanoke  Island !" 
"And  there's  our  house!"  "There's  a  fishing-boat!" 
were  some  of  the  expressions  of  delight  which  I  heard 
on  all  sides.  Preparations  for  breakfast  were  on  foot. 
The  galley  was  so  low  that  the  cook  was  obliged  to  sit 
down  in  the  doorway  to  kindle  the  fire  and  to  superin- 
tend the  cooking.  His  activity  is  worthy  a  record;  and, 
as  a  specimen  of  his  ingenuity,  it  may  be  mentioned 
that  he  ground  the  coffee,  holding  the  mill  between  his 
knees,  and  making  use  of  a  cigar-box  to  receive  the  pul- 
verized kernels.  The  meal  was  soon  in  readiness.  The 
ladies  and  children  breakfasted  on  the  house,  while  I 
was  similarly  engaged  on  the  taffrail. 


THE  LANDING.  23 

A  lighter  came  off  to  us,  and  in  this  and  the  schoon- 
er's yawl  we  went  ashore.  A  walk  of  half  a  mile 
brought  us  to 

THE  HOUSE, 

of  which  I  propose  to  give  some  little  account  in  the 
next  chapter. 


CHAPTER  III. 


THE  LANDING. — THE  HOUSE. 


When  you  come  to  anchor  at  Nag's  Head,  you  go 
ashore  in  the  yawl  belonging  to  the  packet,  or  in  one  of 
the  boats,  or  flats  (scows),  sent  off  by  mine  host  of  the 
hotel.  A  row  of  half  a  mile  brings  you  to  a  little  mar- 
ket-house, standing  over  the  water,  a  few  rods  from 
shore.  From  this  to  terra  firma  you  walk  on  a  narrow 
staging  of  plank. 

Handing  my  valise  to  a  sleepy-looking  black  boy,  I 
straightway  set  forth  along  the  shore  of  the  sound  for 
my  new  home.  Did  you  ever  walk  in  the  sand,  worthy 
reader,  for  a  considerable  distance  ?  Do  you  remember 
anything  in  life  that  so  moderates  any  undue  exube- 
rance of  animal  spirits,  or  a  chance  phase  of  romance 
or  enthusiasm  in  your  feelings  ?  Do  you  know  anything 
more  discouraging?  Probably  not.  Well!  saving  only 
Provincetown,  on  Cape  Cod,  and  the  empire  of  Nan- 
tucket, and  the  Great  Sandy  Desert,  there  is  no  place 


24  nag's  head. 

where  sand  is  more  abundant;  sand  constituting  the 
small  portion  of  terra  firma  yet  left  at  Nag's  Head 
above  the  surface  of  the  sea. 

Along  the  interminable  sand-beach  did  I  resolutely 
plod  my  way  for  some  two  or  three  furlongs.  My  guide 
then  turned  to  the  left,  and  began  the  ascent  of  a  very 
considerable  hill.  Sinking  to  the  ankle,  at  times,  in 
the  sand,  we  at  length  reached  the  summit.  Directly 
in  front  of  us,  but  some  ten  or  twelve  feet  lower,  sur- 
rounded by  a  dwarfish  growth  of  live-oak,  was  the 
house.  It  is  a  small  story-and-a-half  cottage,  shingled 
and  weather-boarded,  but  destitute  of  lath  and  plaster. 

On  the  eastern  side,  it  has  a  comfortable  piazza, 
where  the  family  gather  of  an  evening  for  a  social  chat, 
and  for  the  enjoyment  of  the  sea-breeze.  It  commands 
a  wide  view  of  the  ocean  ;  and  there  is  scarcely  an  hour 
of  the  day  when  you  cannot  see  one  or  more  vessels 
sailing  by,  brigs  and  schooners  "  wing  and  wing,"  or  a 
"square-rigger"  with  both  sheets  aft,  or  else  close- 
hauled  and  standing  off  and  on.  It  is  also  the  retreat, 
after  dinner  or  tea,  for  the  gentlemen  to  smoke ;  and 
two  or  three  times  every  day  you  may  see  little  Tom 
bringing  a  coal  of  fire  on  the  tines  of  a  fork  for  the 
especial  benefit  of  the  smokers.  Our  host  makes  the 
piazza  useful  in  still  another  way  ;  suspending  on  oaken 
hooks  a  goodly  hammock,  and  enjoying  a  siesta  with 
commendable  zest. 

The  cottage  contains  five  apartments ;  and  they  ac- 
commodate, at  this  present  time,  fifteen  persons.    C 

occupies  the  north  chamber  with  me.  There  being  no 
ceiling,  we  enjoy  the  pattering  of  rain  upon  the  roof; 
that  most  delicious  of  luxuries  when  one  is  drowsy.  On 
the  other  hand,  however,  when  we  have  a  brisk  breeze 


.      THE  HOUSE.  25 

from  the  west,  without  rain,  the  sand  comes  sifting 
through  every  nook  and  cranny  in  the  roof  and  weather- 
boarding;  covering  our  beds  and  clothes,  and  filling 
one's  hair  and  eyes — ay,  and  mouth,  with  a  rapidity 
almost  incredible. 

Altogether,  the  cottage  is  what  is  sometimes  called 
"  a  love  of  a  home."  Its  roof  rises  but  little  above  the 
evergreen  oaks  by  which  it  is  hemmed  in.  It  is  retired, 
quiet,  snug,  comfortable  ;  and  that,  I  fancy,  is  enough  to 
say  in  praise  of  one  house.  We  have  gray-haired  age  ; 
sturdy  manhood  in  its  maturity  ;  youth  and  prattling 
infancy.  We  have  faithful  servants.  We  have  good- 
humored  faces— and  we  are  happy  ! 

FIRST  IMPRESSIONS. 

My  first  impressions  of  Nag's  Head  were  very  fa- 
vorable. The  mere  escape  from  the  malaria,  and  fevers, 
and  heat  of  Perquimans  was  quite  enough  to  raise  my 
spirits ;  but  when  we  hove  in  sight  of  the  harbor,  in  the 
gray  of  the  morning,  and  saw  the  sun  rise  over  Nag's 
Head,  making  still  more  than  the  usual  contrast  be- 
tween the  white  sand-hills  and  the  dark,  beautiful  green 
of  its  clusters  of  oak  ;  when  we  discerned  the  neat  white 
cottages  among  the  trees,  the  smoke  curling  lazily  from 
the  low  chimneys,  the  fishing-boats  and  other  small  craft 
darting  to  and  fro,  the  carts  plying  between  the  shore 
and  the  dwellings,  the  loiterers  who  were  eager  to 
know  who  and  how  many  had  arrived,  what  wonder 
that  I  was  prepared  to  be  pleased  with  my  new  home  ? 
And  then  the  dear,  delightful  sea-breeze,  calling  up  old 
memories  of  a  lustrum  of  my  life  in  which  I  roamed 
over  many  a  clime  of  "  the  big  world." 
3 


26  nag's  head. 

With  that  same  breeze  came  vigor,  strength,  and  ani- 
mal spirits  to  which  I  had  long  been  a  stranger ;  and, 
as  "  it  came  on  to  blow"  soon  after  we  landed,  so  vio- 
lently that  our  luggage  could  not  be  sent  ashore,  I  went 
forth  upon  the  sands,  on  the  hills,  among  the  oaks, 
down  to  the  sea-shore,  and  to  the — ten-pin  alley. 
Against  this  first  feeling  of  vigor  I  had  been  cautioned; 
but  I  rambled  too  much,  and  when  the  morrow  came,  I 
was  ill.  I  commenced  the  labors  of  my  little  school ; 
but  with  a  feeling  of  languor  and  a  dull  aching  in  every 

bone  of  my  body.     Dr.  A prescribed  blue  mass  and 

morphine,  and  I  flattered  myself  that  I  should  be  well 
in  a  very  short  time. 


CHAPTER  IV. 


BILIOUS  FEVER. 


I  was  doomed  to  be  disappointed.  There  came  one 
morning  a  feeling  of  lassitude  and  dizziness.  This  was 
succeeded  by  a  remarkably  chilly  sensation  for  the  time 
of  year,  and  this  was  followed  by  a  raging  fever ! 

With  a  vague  presentiment  of  long  sickness  did  I  go 
to  my  little  chamber.  My  cheeks  burned,  my  temples 
throbbed,  and  I  tossed,  in  restlessness  and  pain,  from 

side  to  side.    Dr.  A was  sent  for  ;  just  the  man  for 

me,  as  I  found  him  full  of  life  and  fun  ;  of  a  sanguine, 
hearty  manner,  and  one  of  the  most  agreeable  men  in 
the  world  to  converse  T*ith. 


BILIOUS  FEVER.  27 

"Ah  !  Mr.  S !  got  a  fever,  eh  ?  let's  see!"  and 

he  felt  my  pulse.  "  Got  you  down  at  last.  But  I'll 
have  you  up  again  in  two  days.  Most  always  kill  such 
a  fever  the  first  shot.  Never  fail  the  second !  Take 
this  pill  to-night,  and  with  the  help  of  tonics  we'll  have 
you  on  your  feet  directly  !" 

And  with  such  encouragement  to  me,  he  forthwith 
retreated  with  Mr.  "W— —  to  the  piazza  for  a  smoke. 
His  manner,  I  am  fully  persuaded,  was  of  as  much 
benefit  to  me  as  his  prescription.  If  there  be  one  thing 
more  disheartening  than  another  to  an  invalid,  it  is  to 
see  his  physician  come  into  his  apartment  with  a  face 
as  long  as  an  undertaker's  or  Don  Quixote's,  or  a  mute's 
at  a  funeral,  and  shrug  solemnly  his  broad  shoulders, 
and  with  a  sigh  and  a  shake  of  the  head,  such  as  have 
not  been  heard  or  seen  since  the  days  of  the  Round- 
heads, gravely  announce  to  him,  in  a  tone  of  profoundest 
orotund,  that  he  is  in  a  bad  way  !  Out  on  them,  say  I. 
Give  me  Apollyon  rather  than  Giant  Despair,  if  I  must 
have  either. 

On  the  following  morning,  I  rose  at  an  early  hour, 
feeling  decidedly  better.  There  was  no  recurrence  of 
the  chill  or  the  fever.  So  great  was  the  apparent  im- 
provement that  the  doctor  left  me  no  prescription. 

"Just  keep  quiet,  now,  Mr.  Seaworthy,"  said  he; 
"  be  a  little  careful  of  your  diet,  and  in  a  week  you'll 
have  the  appetite  of  a  shark.  When  people  come  to 
Nag's  Head,  you  see,  they  think  they  can  do  anything  ; 
run  about  in  the  noonday  sun ;  eat  soft  crabs  for  supper  ; 
dance  till  midnight,  and,  maybe,  drink  a  dozen  juleps." 

"  Pretty  well  for  one  day,  doctor  !" 

"  Yes ;  but  that's  not  all.    They  go  to  bed  with  their 


28  nag's  head. 

windows  all  open ;  sleep,  perhaps,  in  a  strong  draught 
of  air,  and  then — as  a  matter  of  course — come  the 
chill  and  the  fever,  and  your  humble  servant  the  doc- 
tor!" 

During  the  day,  I  took  morphine.  When  night  came, 
there  came  with  it  horrid  dreams,  and  deep,  exhausting 
sleep.  I  awoke  in  the  morning  not  feeling  so  well  as  I 
had  expected.  It  is  a  common  saying  that  disappoint- 
ments never  come  singly.  It  proved  to  be  true ;  and 
had  there  not  been  so  much  said  and  written  upon  the 
uncertainty  of  human  expectations,  I  am  by  no  means 
sure  that  I  should  not  devote  a  chapter  to  that  fertile 
theme. 

The  chill  returned!  and,  it  is  needless  to  add,  the 
fever  came  after  it  more  intensely  than  before.  Then 
came  the  weakness  and  languor  of  disease ;  the  thousand 
whims,  the  tendency  to  fretfulness,  the  ever-changing 
caprice  of  appetite,  the  ungovernable  thirst,  the  longing 
for  company  at  my  bedside.  The  servants  and  children 
were  enjoined  to  be  quiet.  My  visitors  stepped  quietly 
and  softly  when  they  came  in,  and  ever  and  anon  there 
would  appear,  just  far  enough  inside  the  door  to  be  visi- 
ble, an  inquiring  face  whose  very  look  was  enough  to 
elicit  the  response 

"  A  little  easier!" 

"  Rather  more  fever!" 

"Doing  nicely !"  or, 

"About  the  same." 

Mr.  W ,  who  arrived  on  the  very  day  that  I  was 

taken  ill,  was  untiring  in  his  attentions.  I  could  hear 
him  below — my  hearing  being  sharpened  by  disease — 
giving  particular  directions  to  the  servants  as  to  their 
being  quiet,  and  taking  care  not  to  disturb  me.     And 


BILIOUS  FEVER.  29 

then  he  would  sit  by  my  bedside  and  talk  with  me  so 
cheerfully  and  so  confidently  concerning  my  speedy  re- 
covery, that 

" the  brood 

Of  dizzy  weakness,  flickering  through  the  gloom 
Of  my  small,  curtained  prison,  caught  the  hues 
Of  beauty  spangling  out  in  glorious  change, 
And  it  became  a  luxury  to  lie 
And  faintly  listen." 

Sometimes   he  would  lie  on  the  bed  with  me,  and 

sometimes  read  to  me.     Mrs.  W sent  very  often  to 

know  how  I  was,  and  whether  she  could  do  anything  for 

me.     The  elder  Mrs.  W ,  who  seems  like  a  mother  to 

me,  was  untiring  in  her  kindness.     J would  come  in 

and  read  me  asleep.  Even  little  S ,  our  curly-head- 
ed pet,  paid  me  a  visit. 

My  friend  Dr.  M came  while  I  was  sick;  and 

both  he  and  Dr.  A were  my  constant  and  welcome 

visitors. 

ISTor  ought  I  here  to  omit  mentioning  the  kindness 
and  fidelity  of  the  servants.  One  of  the  boys  slept  in 
the  chamber  with  me.  Old  'Titia,  a  sort  of  matriarcli 
among  the  servants,  was  ever  ready  to  do  anything  I 
requested,  and  that  with  the  evident  good  feeling  which 
gives  to  such  offices  of  kindness  their  true  value.  What 
I  say  of  her  I  may  say  of  them  all. 


I  grew  worse.     My  disease  assumed  a  more  danger- 
ous phase,  and  I  became  hourly  weaker.     My  spirits 

flagged.     I  grew  desponding.     I  told  Mr.  W where 

to  find  my  private  papers.  From  the  first  I  had  had  fears 
as  to  the  new  phase  of  the  disease,  and  had  begged  for 
a  prescription  which  had  once  saved  my  life.     At  last 

3* 


30  nag's  head. 

Dr.  M prepared  it  for  me,  gave  it  to  me,  and,  on 

the  following  morning,  I  knew  and  felt  that  I  was  bet- 
ter! And  a  thrill  of  subdued  joy  and  a  silent  prayer 
of  thanksgiving  to  the  Great  Physician  were  my  morn- 
ing offering,  as  the  bright,  clear  August  sun  rose  from 
his  ocean  lair. 

Slowly,  but  steadily,  I  recovered ;  and  oh!  how  glo- 
rious to  me  were 

"  The  common  air,  the  earth,  the  sky  I" 

A  new  week  dawned  upon  me,  and  with  my  little 
family,  my  school  around  me,  I  gladly  resumed  my 
customary  round  of  labor. 

There  are  few — I  hope  there  are  none — who  have  not 
felt  that  the  chamber  of  sickness  has  taught  them  some 
of  the  gravest  and  best  lessons  of  life.  Could  we  know 
the  first  feelings  fof  the  restored  invalid,  prominent 
among  them  all  would  appear  a  thrill  of  hearty  grati- 
tude to  Heaven  for  the  gentleness  with  which  the  hand 
of  the  Chastener  was  laid  upon  him.  To  the  busy, 
the  active  and  energetic,  sickness  alone  brings  the  first 
solemn  pause  in  life,  when  they  must  think  soberly  of 
other  things  than  markets,  and  money,  and  the  bustle 
of  the  marts  of  trade. 

And  then,  too,  comes — for  the  first  time  it  may  be — 
the  sense  of  the  frailty  of  the  "clay  tenement,"  upon 
the  strength  and  symmetry  of  which  we  have  so  com- 
placently and  so  proudly  looked.  With  this  feeling 
come,  naturally  and  certainly,  the  charity  which  so  well 
becomes  us  for  the  frailties  and  faults  of  others ;  sym- 
pathy for  their  afflictions  and  sorrows,  and  good  will  to 
every  son  and  daughter  of  Adam.  In  this  new  phase 
of  earnestness,  whatever  of  imperfection  we  have  seen 


BILIOUS  FEVER.  31 

in  the  institutions  of  our  blessed  religion,  all  vanishes  in 
the  light  of  its  greater  excellencies.  Our  bigotry  and  our 
prejudices  melt  as  the  morning  frost ;  and  if  there  were 
a  lurking  feeling  of  enmity  or  revenge  lurking  in  the 
heart,  0 !  how  does  it  melt  away  before  the  deeper  feel- 
ing of  gratitude  and  love ! 

It  is  in  the  chamber  of  sickness,  too,  that  the  man 
hitherto  skeptical  as  to  the  good  will  of  his  fellow-men 
meets  with  that  genuine,  disinterested  kindness,  and  the 
thousand  little  offices  of  affection  which  mock  all  his 
misanthropic  theories.  A  world  of  hitherto  undiscover- 
ed sympathy  survives  the  surrounding  desolation  of 
"total  depravity,"  like  the  moss  on  the  fountain's  edge 
in  the  depth  of  winter. 

It  is  a  test,  too — that  same  sick  chamber.  It  has 
a  voice  to  which  no  man  ever  yet  failed  to  give  heed. 
His  energies,  whatever  they  may  be,  must  there  be  as- 
sayed. The  mute,  but  quick  and  earnest  look  of  in- 
quiry with  which  the  sick  man  would  fain  read  his 
probable  fate  in  the  looks  of  the  attending  physician, 
is  of  itself  enough  to  betray  the  otherwise  secret  feel- 
ing of  intense  interest  with  which  he  watches  the  vary- 
ing symptoms.  In  this  man  you  behold  a  calm, 
noble,  fearless  spirit,  not  afraid  to  meet  the  Great 
Source  which  it,  in  some  degree,  resembles.  In  that, 
the  nervous  shrinking  from  the  very  thought  of  death. 
There  is  something  sublime  in  the  quiet  gathering  of 
the  energies  of  a  mighty  spirit  for  the  last  grapple 
with  the  grim  messenger. 

For  myself,  my  chief  anxiety  as  to  the  close  of  life 
is  in  regard  to  the  nature  of  the  disease  which  will  pro- 
bably terminate  it.  Though  it  has  attacked  me  very 
seldom,  I  have  long  had — perhaps  most  persons  have  a 


32  nag's  head. 

similar  feeling — a  presentiment  that  sooner  or  later  its 
agonies  will  call  for  my  stoutest  energies,  and  master 
them.  I  have  seen  at  sea,  in  a  man-of-war,  victim  after 
victim  held  ruthlessly  and  helplessly  in  its  iron  grapple 
for  days  and  weeks;  and  then  the  jack  was  thrown  over 
them,  and  the  hammock,  with  shot  enclosed,  sewn  tightly 
around  them. 

The  shrill  pipe  and  hoarse  voice  of  the  boatswain  and 
his  mates  called  that  most  solemn  of  all  their  calls, 
"All  hands!  bury  the  dead!"  The  burial-service 
was  read;  there  was  one  dull  plash,  and  the  tall  ship 
filled  away  on  her  course,  leaving  my  comrade  "  fathoms 
deep"  in  his  ocean  grave. 

Good  reader, 

"  So  live 
That,  when  thy  summons  come," 

thou  mayst  go  to  thy  resting-place 

"  Like  one  who  wraps  the  drapery  of  his  couch 
About  him,  and  lies  down  to  pleasant  dreams." 


CHAPTER  V. 


A  STORM  ON  THE  BANKS. 


My  little  attic,  in  which  I  am  only  separated  from 
"the  seasons'  difference"  by  the  shingles  and  weather- 
boarding,  makes  me  more  observant  than  I  have  ever 


A  STORM  ON  THE  BANKS.  83 

been  before  of  the  phases  of  the  weather.  Not  a  sigh 
of  the  wind;  no 

"Low  lispings  of  the  summer  rain;" 

no  rustle  in  the  small  leaves  of  the  live-oak  shrubbery 
by  which  the  house  is  surrounded,  can  escape  my  ear. 
From  the  infancy  of  the  rain,  when  its  first  tiny  foot- 
falls patter  so  softly  and  musically  upon  the  roof,  to  the 
clattering  of  the  shower  and  the  pelting  of  the  storm — 
I  hear  it  all,  and  thank  Heaven  that  I  am  at  Nag's 
Head. 

At  times,  there  are  furious  storms  from  seaward.  If 
they  come  on  gradually,  you  cannot  see  the  live-long 
day  a  single  sail.  You  hear,  at  first,  a  dull,  heavy, 
monotonous  roar  of  the  breakers.  A  dense  mass  of 
clouds  gathers  low  in  the  eastern  horizon,  and — just  at 
nightfall  it  may  be — comes  the  first  ominous  pattering 
of  the  rain.  The  wind  rises  gradually  and  drives  the  big 
drops  furiously  against  the  house.  Darkness,  as  a  pall, 
settles  down  on  earth  and  sea;  the  shutters  creak  and 
slam;  the  wind  howls  and  whistles,  and  anon,  through 
every  accessible  nook  and  cranny,  comes  the  rain. 

And  then !  in  all  the  fanciful  but  unpoetic  and  prac- 
tical varieties  of  night-habiliments,  with  small  attention 
to  attitude  and  the  arrangement  of  drapery,  do  half- 
wakened  sleepers  look  for  a  moment  upon  the  watery 
intrusion.  I  say  for  a  moment;  for  straightway  there 
begins  such  a  commotion  as  has  not  been  since  the  build- 
ing of  Babel.  Carpets  are  taken  up;  clothes  are  taken 
down ;  beds  are  moved ;  crevices  are  caulked,  and 
every  possible  defence  made  that  ingenuity  can  devise 
against  the  common  enemy. 


34  nag's  head. 

In  these  storms,  the  wind  varies  in  its  direction;  some- 
times a  point  or  two,  sometimes — after  a  brief  lull — 
coming  from  the  point  opposite  to  that  at  which  it  began. 
Sometimes  there  seems  to  be  a  "coalition"  among  the 
winds,  as  if  Old  iEolus  had  given  them  reins: — 

"Velut  agmine  facto, 


Qua  data  porta,  ruunt,  et  terras  turbine  perflant: 
Incubuere  mari,  totumque  a  sedibus  imis. 
Una  Eurusque,  Notusque  ruunt,  creberque  procellis 
Africus,  et  vastos  volount  ad  littora  fluctus." 

When  I  entered  the  breakfast-room  this  morning,  the 
storm,  which  had  been  raging  violently  during  the  night, 
seemed  unabated.     The  rain  was  driving  through  every 

nook  and  cranny  of  the  weather-boarding.     Dr.  M 

suggested  the  propriety  of  holding  an  umbrella  over  the 
kitchen  chimney,  by  way  of  increasing  the  chances  of 
a  hot  breakfast,  and  the  remoter  possibility  of  dinner. 

Mrs.  W- was  superintending  the  putting  up  of  a 

small  stove.  The  sofa  was  wheeled  out  from  the  wall, 
and  a  little  tub  behind  it  was  receiving  the  drops  of 
water  that  were  coming  plentifully  down  from  an  upper 
window.  It  was  very  manifest,  from  its  general  appear- 
ance, that  it  had  not  escaped  the  general  calamity  of 
the  past  night. 

The  children  were  seated,  singly  or  in  little  groups, 
learning  their  morning  lessons.  The  boy  Bill  stood  in 
the  doorway  of  the  kitchen,  looking  out  with  a  discon- 
solate and  abstracted  air  upon  the  dismal  scene.  Down 
came  the  rain  in  white  spray-like  sheets,  and  driving 
with  a  furious  clatter  against  the  window-panes.  The 
wind  was  whistling,  too,  and  a  rickety  old  shutter  thumped 
with  a  most  doleful  and  monotonous  dullness  against  the 
weather-boards. 


A  STORM  ON  THE  BANKS.  35 

What  a  night  must  it  have  been  for  the  poor  sailor  ! 
Four  long  hours,  nay,  perhaps  the  live-long  night,  ex- 
posed to  the  fury  of  the  storm ;  obtaining  a  partial 
shelter  under  the  lee  of  the  weather  bulwarks ;  stand- 
ing patiently  and  silently  at  the  wheel,  his  eyes  almost 
sightless  from  gazing  so  long  at  the  dimly-lighted  and 
unsteady  compass ;  the  rain  dripping  from  his  stiff 
sou'wester,  and  blown  fiercely  in  his  face — these  are 
some  of  his  hardships.  Perhaps  he  was  aloft,  the  ves- 
sel tossing  and  pitching  so  as  to  employ  all  his  strength 
at  times  to  cling  to  the  yard ;  the  heavy,  water-soaked 
sail  flapping  upwards  in  his  face,  and  defying  his  efforts 
to  "spill"  it  and  pass  the  gasket.  And  some  of  the 
thousands  of  old  Ocean's  children  may  have  gone  to 
their  final  home.  A  ratline  has  parted,  a  gasket  has 
given  way,  or  the  feet  may  have  slipped  upon  the  foot- 
rope  ;  there  are  wild  cries,  almost  unheard  in  the  fury 
of  the  storm,  of 

"A  man  overboard!  a  plank!  a  handspike!  the  hen- 
coop!    Lower  the  boat!     No!  no!  for  your  lives!" 

A  pale  face  and  glaring  eyes  are  revealed  to  you,  in 
the  foam  beneath  the  quarter,  by  a  sudden  flash  of  light- 
ning ;  a  faint  cry  is  heard,  and  he  is  gone  from  your 
sight  for  ever. 

"0  Night! 

And  Storm  !  and  Darkness  !  ye  are  wondrous  strong  \" 

But  I  was  describing  the  scene  in  the  breakfast-room. 
There  was  a  medley  of  exclamations  that  will  give  the 
reader  some  idea  of  it. 

"It  don't  seem  to  gee!"  said  Isaac,  as  he  was  trying 
to  adjust  the  stove — one  of  the  most  troublesome,  by 
the  by,  of  household  tasks. 


36  nag's  head. 

"  Law  me  !"  exclaimed  E ,  who  had  several  times 

changed  her  seat  to  avoid  the  rain,  "  everywhere  I  go, 
the  rain  comes  down  !" 

"It  comes  faster  and  faster !"  quoth  Tom. 

"  It's  leakin'  down  where  you're  sittin' !"  said  another; 
and  John,  the  baby,  was  roaring  "  ma  !  ma  !  ma  !"  at 
the  top  of  his  stentorian  voice.  Many  a  solemn  look, 
meanwhile,  was  directed  towards  the  window,  down  the 
panes  of  which  the  water  was  running  in  streams,  and 
at  a  large  surface  on  the  weather-boarding,  growing 
gradually  larger,  and  threatening  an  ultimate  inunda- 
tion. Neither  of  the  dogs  was  visible,  both  having 
crowded  to  their  kennel  beneath  the  piazza,  and,  to  all 
appearance,  resolutely  determined  to  sleep  out  the  storm. 

Our  beds  are  yet  safe ;  but  I  am  told  this  "  isnt  a 
patch  to  what  I  shall  see  in  September  ;  not  a  primin' 
to  it  /" 

Poor  Isaac,  a  negro  who  supplies  us  with  fresh  fish, 
had  just  "  staked  down"  his  nets  last  night,  when  the 
storm  came  on.  He  gave  us  a  somewhat  graphic  ac- 
count of  it. 

"  I'd  just  got  'em  fixed,  ye  see,"  said  he,  as  he  finished 
the  story,  "an'  de  wind  chopped  round  t'  de  nor'ard, 
and  I  begun  to  think  Id  better  leave!" 


THE  CHAPEL.  37 


CHAPTER  VI. 


THE    CHAPEL. 


Amoena  vireta 


Fortunatorum  nemorum,  secies  que  beatas." 

About  a  stone's  throw  from  the  hotel  is  a  little  chapeL 
It  is  a  wooden  structure,  of  small  pretensions  to  archi- 
tectural beauty,  or  outer  or  inner  decoration,  yet  com- 
modious, neat,  comfortable.  Like  the  dwellings  around 
it — like  almost  all  of  them  at  least — it  is  destitute  of 
ceiling.  The  weather-boards,  joists,  and  shutters  are 
neatly  whitewashed,  and  the  altar  has  latterly  received 
a  coating  of  white  paint.  This  last,  to  give  the  praise 
where  it  is  due,  was  the  work  of  the  clergymen  who 

officiate  there,  Rev.  Mr.  F ,  of  Elizabeth  city,  and 

Rev.  Mr.  S ,  of  Hartford. 

Its  position  is  indeed  a  happy  one.  It  stands  pretty 
nearly  in  the  centre  of  a  diminutive  forest  of  live-oak, 
the  underwood  all  growing  in  primitive  freedom  and 
luxuriance.  You  approach  it  from  several  directions, 
through  paths  shaded  and  overhung  by  the  evergreen 
foliage,  and  it  is  not  until  you  are  within  a  very  few  yards 
of  it  that  you  are  conscious  of  its  existence.  The 
branches  of  the  surrounding  trees  almost  touch  its 
walls. 

Here,  in  the  gray  morning,  so  early  as  six  o'clock,  you 
may  see  mother  and  daughter,  sire  and  son,  quietly  ga- 
4 


38  nag's  head. 

thering  for  their  morning  devotions.  As  your  eye  strays 
inquiringly  around,  while  waiting  for  the  late-comers, 
you  may  see  here  a  lady  whose 

"  Customary  suit  of  solemn  black'7 

points  her  out  as  one  of  earth's  mourners.  There  you 
discern  the  pale,  attenuated  features  of  some  half-re- 
covered invalid.  In  yet  another  seat,  is  a  round- 
cheeked  boy,  or  a  fair-haired  girl,  as  intent  upon  the 
liturgy,  to  all  appearance,  as  was  ever  Thomas  a 
Kempis  at  his  devotions.  And,  side  by  side  with  them, 
is  gray-haired  age,  turning  the  well-worn  prayer-book 
with  hands  that  have  lost  the  steadiness  of  younger 
days.  And  then — shall  it  be  confessed  ? — you  might, 
by  sheer  accident,  catch  the  glance  of  a  dark  eye  from 
beneath  as  dark  a  hood,  and  the  shadow  of  an  envious 
green  veil,  dreadfully  destructive  to  the  devotional  feel- 
ings with  which  you  may  have  threaded  the  winding 
dew-bespangled  paths  to  the  little  chapel. 

I  shall  not  soon  forget  my  first  Sabbath  at  the  chapel. 
I  had  just  left  my  sick  chamber.  Starting  sooner  than 
the  rest  of  the  family,  in  order  that  I  might  walk  slowly, 
I  could  see  the  villagers  wending  their  way  on  foot,  or 
in  the  indispensable  cart,  towards  the  place  of  worship. 
There  was  no  "  bell,  sending  its  sober  melody  across 
the  fields,"  but  in  all  directions,  punctually  to  the  hour, 
did  they  gather  to  the  chapel.  Before  I  reached  it,  I 
was  attacked  with  some  of  my  recently-departed  symp- 
toms ;  but,  after  a  few  minutes'  rest  by  the  wayside,  I 
went  on  and  entered.  A  goodly  audience  had  already 
assembled,  and  the  seats  were  soon  filled. 

There  was  the  usual  rustle  of  silks  and  flutter  of  fans, 
and  turning  of  heads ;  and,  but  for  the  side  structure  in 


THE  CHAPEL.  39 

which  we  were  seated,  I  might  quite  easily  have  ima- 
gined myself  in  Trinity  Church  in  New  York.  Alas  ! 
for  the  olden  days  at  Nag's  Head  !  (I  shall  have  more 
to  say  of  them.)  Fashion  has  created  her  exacting- 
altars,  and  crowned  her  gay  victims  even  here. 

I  saw  the  clergyman  as  he  entered.  I  set  him  down 
at  the  first  glance  for  a  man  of  Irish  origin,  and  without 
further  ado  promised  myself  a  good  sermon.  If  I  had 
had  any  doubts  as  to  his  parentage,  the  "  Dearly  beloved 
brethren"  with  which  he  began  dispelled  it,  and  the 
earnest  son  of  Erin  "  stood  confessed."  A  lady  led  the 
singing,  both  chants  and  hymns,  with  a  clear,  rich, 
hearty  voice,  that  seemed  to  convey  her  own  enthusiasm 
to  the  whole  audience. 

The  text  was  Jonah,  iii.  9,  and  the  discourse  in  re- 
ference to  the  cholera.  Instead  of  a  dry  dissertation 
upon  repentance  and  its  fruits,  the  preacher  conveyed 
us  in  imagination  to  the  streets  of  Nineveh ;  pointed  us 
to  the  prophet  as  he  stalked  onward  among  the  jeering 
crowd,  and  bade  us  hear  his  husky  tones  as  he  cried, 
"Yet  forty  days,  and  Nineveh  shall  be  overthrown  !" 
Then  followed  the  description  of  the  consternation  of 
king  and  people,  and  their  repentance.  "  The  morning 
sun,"  said  the  preacher,  "  of  that  dreaded  day  rose  in 
calmness  and  beauty  over  Nineveh,  and  the  uplifted  cup 
came  not  to  her  trembling  lips." 

Then  came  an  appeal  to  those  who  were  drowning  all 
sober  thoughts  in  the  whirl  of  pleasure  and  fashion,  a 
brief  peroration,  and  he  had  done.  Seldom  had  a 
preacher  so  stirred  my  deeper  impulses.  I  walked 
quietly  through  the  throng  of  loiterers  at  the  door,  and 
walked  homeward.  A  chilly  sensation  came  over  me  as 
I  walked  along.     It  increased  as  I  went  onward,  and, 


40  nag's  head. 

after  a  vigorous  effort  to  convince  myself  to  the  con- 
trary, I  shiveringly  tottered  up  the  stairs  and  lay  down 
upon  my  bed,  with  a  very  decided  impression  that  I  had 
"  a  chill."  I  hope  I  may  be  forgiven  for  a  momentary 
feeling  of  vexation.  I  had  been  boasting  of  my  restored 
strength  and  appetite,  and  had  relaxed  very  consider- 
ably the  strictness  of  my  diet ;  and  to  have  a  chill  steal 
on  me  so  without  notice — like  a  bailiff  on  an  unsus- 
pecting debtor — it  was  unpleasant !  The  fever  came, 
of  course.  But,  on  the  following  day,  fortified  by  qui- 
nine, I  went  to  the  little  school-room,  and  accomplished — 
how,  I  hardly  know — its  round  of  duties. 

Thus  ended  the  first  Sabbath  on  which  I  had  been 
able  to  go  to  the  little  chapel.  I  have  often  been  there 
since,  and  always  with  regret  that  I  have  so  seldom 
sought  its  silence  and  its  soothing  influences  in  the  still 
air  of  the  early  day.  There  is  something  in  the  hour 
that  has  always  commended  itself  to  the  devout,  as  the 
most  favorable  in  the  day  for  the  communion  which 
every  heart  seeks  (no  matter  what  its  professions)  with 
the  great  and  good  Father  of  us  all. 

"  How  amiable,"  saith  the  Psalmist  of  Israel,  "  are 
thy  tabernacles,  0  Lord  of  Hosts  !" 


THE  DOGS.  41 


CHAPTER  VII. 


THE  DOGS. 


"  Slight  is  the  subject,  but  not  so  the  praise, 
If  s7ie  inspire,  and  he  approve  my  lays." 

Pope. 

The  residence  of  a  southern  planter  is  a  little  world 
of  itself,  combining  some  of  the  elements  of  the  old  ante- 
diluvian and  subsequent  phase  of  government,  known  as 
the  patriarchal.  Our  household  here  numbers  upwards 
of  twenty ;  of  whom  one-third  are  negroes.  We  have 
three  horses,  and  two  other  quadrupeds,  to  which  I 
propose  to  devote  a  short  chapter ;  that  is  to  say,  our 
"twa  dogs,"  Hector  and  Jumper. 

To  begin  with  the  latter.  He  is  a  dog  somewhat  be- 
neath the  medium  size  ;  larger  than  that  particular  spe- 
cies usually  called  "the  tarrier"  (lucus,  a  non  lucendo ; 
for  not  one  of  them  ever  tarried  five  minutes  in  the 
same  place  !)  and  very  decidedly  smaller  than  the  New- 
foundland or  St.  Bernard.  Jumper's  color  is  a  yellow- 
ish-white, approximating  to  that  of  cream  ;  his  hair  ever 
smooth  and  sleek,  though,  it  must  be  confessed,  occa- 
sionally the  worse  for  some  canine  habits  very  decidedly 
untidy. 

Looking  at  Jumper,  as  Lavater  would  have  done  (had 
he  ever  seen  him),  it  is  to  proper  to  say  that  his — 
Jumper's,  and  not  the  physiognomist's — characteristic 

4* 


42  nag's  head. 

expression  of  countenance  is  that  of  all-prevailing,  and 
absorbing,  and  controlling  good-nature ;  reminding  one 
of  people  who  squeeze  your  hand  and  look  affectionately 
into  your  inmost  eyes  at  the  first  dawn  of  acquaintance ; 
shadowing  forth  (if  so  cool  a  word  as  "  shadowing"  be 
here  admissible)  the  noontide  devotion  of  a  luminary  so 
undisguisedly  warm  in  the  gray  of  its  morning.  There 
is  a  glassy,  glistening  glare  of  his  over-good-natured 
eye  that  prevents  your  ever  forgetting  him  when  you 
have  once  seen  him. 

I  have  said  that  this  good-nature  of  his  is  his  distin- 
guishing trait.  I  repeat  it.  It  is  proof  against  the  most 
direct,  and  plain,  and  emphatic,  and  practical,  and — to 
all  save  himself — unmistakeable  hints.  Cuffs  and  kicks, 
to  his  all-over-shadowing  charity,  are  delicate  attentions 
which,  for  their  legitimate  and  intended  purpose,  are 
lost  upon  him.  Could  he  speak,  he  would  very  likely 
say  (like  one  of  Dr.  Lever's  characters),  of  people 
who  do  not  especially  kick  or  thump  him — "  he  never 

said   i  good  morning,'   'by  your  lave,'   'd n  your 

eyes,'  or  any  other  civility  in  life  /" 

Jumper's  general  cream  color  is  relieved  by  a  shading 
of  black  around  his  eyes  and  nose,  that  contributes  very 
materially  to  the  expression  of  his  otherwise  inexpres- 
sive countenance.  His  ears  and  tail  are  uncropped ; 
but  he  has  a  most  unfortunate  kink  in  his  back,  which 
speaks  eloquently  of  some  encounter  and  "  hair-breadth 
'scapes."  It  gives  a  very  queer,  drifting,  wriggling,  un- 
dignified sort  of  motion — "abaft  the  waist,"  if  I  may 
borrow  a  marine  phrase — that  gradually  wrinkles  your 
phiz  into  the  quietest  grin  in  life,  as  you  gaze  at  him. 

It  may  have  been  the  same  oddity  of  motion,  which, 
with  other  symptoms,  induced  me  to  set  down  his  tern- 


THE  DOGS.  43 

perament  as  nervous-sanguine.  He  has  all  imaginable 
sorts  of  puppyish  motions.  He  is  never  composed, 
never  at  rest ;  but,  like  a  gawkey  who  has  blundered 
into  the  atmosphere  of  high  life,  and  rocks  his  chair, 
twists  his  fingers,  and  plays  with  his  "  guard"  while  he 
talks  to  you,  is  ever  fawning,  wriggling,  moving,  and 
wagging  his  tail  in  the  highest  conceivable  state  of  ner- 
vous excitabik'ty.  He  would  never  do  for  the  city — not 
he.  "He  don't  know  the  ropes."  He  has  no  tact,  no 
judgment ;  and  were  he  as  big  as  ^sop's  ass,  would 
just  as  inconsiderately  leap  into  your  lap. 

uTe  aint  gwoin  to  jump  into  my  lap,  anyhow!'9 
said  Old  Titia  to  him,  one  day,  in  my  hearing  ;  "tearin1 
me  all  to  pieces  /" 

Thus  he  gets  kicks,  cuffs,  and  scolding  on  every  hand. 
Always  in  the  way,  always  victimized,  always  good-na- 
tured. Old  Hector  is  very  evidently  disgusted  with  him, 
and  avoids  anything  like  intimacy.  His  dignity,  how- 
ever— as  will  be  readily  supposed — is  lost  on  the  incor- 
rigible good-nature  of  his  inexperienced  young  friend. 

Another  trait  of  character  in  poor  Jumper  is  his  utter 
indecision  and  want  of  proper  confidence  in  himself. 
He  lacks  independence.  He  is  over-lavish  of  his  good 
offices  and  courtesies.  The  reader  will  find  my  idea 
better  expressed  in  the  Hunchback,  where,  on  Clifford's 
loss  of  fortune,  Modus  and  Helen  berate  him  to  Julia, 
as  giving  bows  "  fifty  for  one  ;  and  that  begrudged." 
On  old  Hector, 

"Magnanimous  Hector/' 

he  is  ever  fawning.  His  sapient  look,  his  years,  his 
gravity   have   manifestly   inspired   Jumper   with    the 


44  nag's  head. 

"  most  distinguished  consideration,"  the  profoundest 
respect.  His  jokes  are  all  evidently  relished,  all  pass 
current  with  his  young  Boswell.  But  Hector  evidently 
amuses  himself  with  his  "fidus  Achates,"  and  looks 
with  undisguised  merriment  on  the  slatternly  and  nerve- 
less way  in  which  Jumper  drags  his  toes  in  the  sand  in 
his  most  excited  and  vigorous  trot. 

I  cannot  close  this  chapter  without  a  very  brief  notice 
of  the  elder  of  "  the  twa  dogs."  And  it  is  here  neces- 
sary to  state  that  "  Hector"  is  only  a  norm  de  guerre  ; 
the  name  being  used  here  in  deference  to  a  feeling 
of  delicacy  on  his  part  in  having  his  name  seen  in 
print ! 

His  personal  appearance  is  not  over  prepossessing; 
his  form  not  being  of  very  nice  proportions,  and  his 
color  of  no  prevailing  peculiarity ;  spots  of  black  and 
white  very  equally  dividing  the  empire.  He  is  elderly, 
knows  the  ropes,  has  a  sober  good-humored  twinkle,  in 
his  grayish  eye  that  wins  your  regard.  He  has  been, 
it  must  be  confessed,  somewhat  supercilious  towards  his 
young  friend ;  but  then  that  may  be  pardoned  when 
one  thinks  of  the  utter  want  of  congeniality  between 
the  two.  He  has  not  been  seen  here  for  some  days, 
and  I  am  credibly  informed  that  he  has  left  bed  and 
board  here,  and  gone  to  the  hotel,  or  its  vicinity.  The 
ostensible  reason  is  a  penchant  for  an  elderly  woman 
who  was  kind  to  him  in  his  younger  days.  Some  have 
insinuated  the  proximity  of  the  butcher  shop,  but  to 
this  I  give  no  credit,  the  suggestion  springing  proba- 
bly from  private  jealousy  or  malice. 

It  is  to  be  hoped  that  he  will  return.  Better  things 
were  expected  of  him,  and  it  is  not  yet  too  late  to  re- 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  45 

trieve  his  suffering  reputation.     It  is  yet  too  soon  for 
him  to  say 

"  Sat  patriae  Priamoque  datum."* 


CHAPTER  VIII. 

THE    GRAVE    OF   THE    OAKS. 

I  DO  not  know  whether  or  not  I  have  yet  mentioned 
one  of  the  features  of  Nag's  Head,  which  a  stranger 
would  be  most  likely  to  remember.  It  is  this;  the 
gradual  entombing  of  whole  acres  of  live-oaks  and 
pines  by  the  gradual  drifting  of  the  restless  sands  from 
the  beach.  Not  a  more  melancholy  sight  in  the  world. 
In  a  morning's  walk,  you  may  pass  hundreds  of  enor- 
mous oaks,  the  topmost  branches  barely  visible  above 
the  surface,  while  their  roots  may  be  scores  of  feet  be- 
neath the  surface,  strangled  by  the  merciless  sands. 
Here  and  there  you  may  see  a  victim  around  whose 
highest  branches  a  vine  has  entwined  itself,  green  and 
beautiful  still,  while  the  tree  on  which  it  leans  is  dead; 
just  as  you  have  seen  a  devoted  wife,  familiar  once  with 
the  glitter  of  prosperity,  clinging  yet  closer  (and  there- 
fore the  more  beautiful)  to  the  husband  whom  she  has 

*  The  reader  may  care  enough  for  his  fate  to  read  this  record 
of  the  fact,  that  he  departed  this  life  somewhat  out  of  the  custom- 
ary decline  and  termination  of  canine  old  age.  Even  Jumper 
himself  has  recently  come  home  with  a  broad,  deep  gash,  fright- 
fully near  the  arteries  in  his  throat. 


46  nag's  head. 

promised  life-long  love  and  fidelity.  There  is  one  of 
these  not  far  from  the  house,  to  which  I  often  walk  in 
the  gray  of  the  morning.  It  is  surrounded  by  others 
as  large  as  itself,  and  by  some  that  are  still  larger.  Its 
companions  are  destitute  of  any  appearance  of  verdure. 
Indeed,  they  must  have  been  dead  these  many  years. 
They  may  be  some  fifteen  feet  in  height  above  the  en- 
gulfing sand.  The  limbs  of  one  of  them  are  out- 
stretched like  huge  arms,  as  if  the  brave  old  tree  had 
died  in  its  last  mute,  yet  eloquent  act  of  supplication  to 
be  spared  from  so  horrible  a  death.  And  there  it  stands 
in  the  self-same  imploring  attitude  still.  Suns  rise  and 
set ;  storm  and  calm  succeed  each  other ;  seasons  whirl 
away  the  chaff  of  winnowed  time;  the  young  and  the 
old  come  here  and  look  upon  it,  and  depart,  yet  there  it 
stands, 

"As  stricken  into  stone." 

Near  this  is  the  tree  of  which  I  first  made  mention. 
There  is  still  less  of  it  visible  than  of  the  other.  It  is 
dead,  like  its  companions  ;  but  over  its  top,  in  many  a 
graceful  wreath,  a  beautiful  vine  has  thrown  its  thou- 
sand tendrils.  Its  green  leaves  are  the  only  vestige  of 
life  in  an  area  of  scores  of  acres.  As  I  have  already 
said,  I  often  go  there  of  a  morning.  A  morsel  of  le- 
gendary lore  may  possibly  endear  it  to  others  as  it  has 
to  me. 

THE  STORY. 

The  "  season"  at  Nag's  Head,  in  the  summer  of  184-, 
was  a  gay  one.  The  spring  and  summer  had  been  un- 
healthy, and,  early  in  July,  family  after  family  packed 
up  the  necessary  household  conveniences,  got  on  board 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  47 

the  little  packets,  and  were  speedily  domiciled  at  their 
respective  homes  on  the  sea-side.  The  hotel  was  throng- 
ed. Scores  of  children  and  youth,  whole  regiments  of 
young  ladies  and  young  gentlemen  came  thronging  on, 
until  the  worthy  innkeeper  stood  aghast.  However,  by 
dint  of  close  stowage,  and  other  expedients  not  necessary 
herein  to  be  set  forth,  all  had  a  place  whereon  to  lay  their 
heads.  As  a  matter  of  course,  among  such  a  throng, 
there  was  no  lack  of  amusements.  The  mornings  were 
spent  at  the  bowling-alley,  in  fishing,  or  fox-hunting. 
The  dinner  and  the  siesta  occupied  the  afternoon  ;  and 
tea  and  the  toilet  occupied  the  time  until  a  venerable 
negro,  after  a  few  preliminary  turns  of  the  screws,  gave 
forth  the  startling,  thrilling,  life-awakening  notes  of 
his  favorite  violin.     Presto!  change! 

In  came  the  dancers,  the  sets  were  made  up,  and, 
with  a  tone  such  as  new-created  sheriffs  shout  "0  yes!" 
"0  yes!"  at  the  sessions  of  the  most  worshipful  the 
Court  of  Common  Pleas,  the  sable  musician  exclaimed 
balance  all  !  and  the  evening's  amusements  were  be- 
gun. And  then  not  very  brightly  did  the  pendent  lan- 
terns shine 

" o'er  fair  women  and  brave  men. 

A  thousand  hearts  beat  happily ;  and  "when 

Music  arose  with  its  voluptuous  swell, 
Soft  eyes  looked  love  to  eyes  that  spake  again, 

And  all  went  merry  as  a  marriage  bell." 

Among  the  sojourners  at  the  hotel  was  a  young  man 
of  gentleman-like  appearance,  whose  little  interest  in 
the  gayeties  of  the  place  attracted  general  attention. 
True,  he  would  now  and  then  enter  the  saloon  to  look  at 
the  dancers,  especially  on  those  evenings  when  the  hall 
was  at  the  disposal  of  the  children,  though  he  never 


48  nag's  head. 

danced  himself.  Grave  as  lie  was,  and  he  was  so  even 
to  melancholy,  when  you  could  win  a  smile  from  him 
there  was  never  a  sweeter  one.  Occasionally  he  would 
chat  with  one  of  the  very  few  acquaintances  he  seemed 
to  have  made,  and  such  was  his  power  of  thought  and 
felicity  of  expression  that  it  is  no  exaggeration  to  say 
that 

"  The  list'ner  held  his  breath  to  hear." 

He  had  a  fine  voice,  too ;  and  it  was  more  perilous 
than  he  seemed  to  suspect  for  some  of  the  fair  dancers 
to  observe  its  musical  cadence. 

It  was  observed  that  he  was  much  addicted  to  long 
and  solitary  walks;  and  a  young  man  who  had  the  cu- 
riosity to  follow  him,  discovered  that  he  usually  went  to 
the  vine-covered  oak  of  which  I  have  spoken.  A  friend 
with  whom  he  became  more  intimate  than  with  any  one 
else,  informs  me  that  he  gave  the  following  account  of 
his  melancholy  moods,  and  his  seclusion  from  the  gaye- 
ties  of  life. 


I  am  an  orphan.     I  was  adopted,  when  a  mere  lad,  by 

Dr. ,  of  Washington  City.     He  is  one  of  the  best 

of  men,  as  you  know  that  he  is  one  of  the  best  of  phy- 
sicians. I  could  not  possibly  have  loved  a  father  more 
than  I  ever  loved  him.  God  forgive  me  for  ever  leaving 
him !  He  lives  there  still.  You  may  see  him  any  day 
on  Pennsylvania  Avenue — that  noblest  of  all  American 
avenues — riding  or  walking  along  at  a  brisk  pace,  with 
a  kindly  smile  on  his  face,  and  a  nod  for  everybody. 
He  is  universally  beloved,  for  he  is  ever  kind,  and 
noble,  and  generous.  He  makes  no  parade  of  his  cha- 
rities ;  he  is  not 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  49 

"  One  of  your  ten  and  twenty  pound  subscribers, 
Your  benefactors  in  the  newspapers," 

"Who  keep 

"  A  running  charity  account  with  Heaven  ;" 

but  many  a  poor  heart  has  been  gladdened  by  his  un- 
ostentatious benevolence.  God  bless  the  good  old  man  ! 
All  my  recollections  of  him  are  happy.  They  have  been 
— they  shallbe — my  salvation.  I  have  been  a  prodigal. 
I  have  fed  upon  the  beggarly  husks  of  "  the  far  coun- 
try." 

Dr.  is,  of  all  the  physicians  I  have  ever  known, 

the  most  studious  and  indefatigable.  When  retained  in 
a  case — to  use  a  legal  phrase — he  is  untiring  in  his 
researches  in  the  books,  in  his  personal  attentions,  in 
the  study  of  the  particular  symptoms  of  the  disease, 
the  temperament,  habits,  and  condition  in  life  of  the 
patient.  Perhaps  no  living  physician  was  ever  so  suc- 
cessful in  his  combination  of  simples  to  meet  peculiar 
symptoms.  And  yet,  absorbed  as  he  invariably  was  in 
some  one  or  more  of  the  many  cases  which  came  throng- 
ing upon  him,  he  never  lost  sight  of  the  claims  of  so- 
ciety and  the  domestic  circle.  No  child  more  simple ; 
and  he  was  never  more  happy  than  when  surrounded  by 
children.  There  was  no  air  of  bustle,  of  importance, 
of  dignity ;  there  was  no  fuss ;  there  was  no  formida- 
ble barrier  of  cautious  reserve  to  break  through.  The 
light  of  his  genial  smile  converted  everything  into  some 
likeness  to  its  own  benignity  ;  just  as  the  sun  makes  the 
darkest  substances  even  give  back  as  well  as  enjoy  his 
rays. 

What  wonder  that  I  loved  him!  What  wonder  that 
I  hung  upon  his  footsteps  as  if  I  were  his  shadow,  and 
followed  him  into  every  street,  and  lane,  and  alley  of 
5 


50  nag's  head. 

the  city!  Trust  me,  there  are  few  pages  that  so  in- 
itiate the  tyro  into  the  Eleusinia  of  life  as  those  which  a 
medical  practice  opens  to  him  in  the  heart  of  a  great 
city.  And  with  him  !  You  could  not  see  him  thus  en- 
gaged in  his  labors  without  feeling  a  desire  to  do  better, 
to  be  better ;  and  love  and  reverence  for  him  went  ever 
hand  in  hand. 

It  was  my  delight  to  nestle  in  a  huge  leather-backed 
arm-chair  in  his  office,  and  to  watch  him  while  he  was 
investigating  a  case.  Sometimes  I  lounged  upon  the 
sofa,  and  very  generally  fell  asleep  on  it  at  a  late  hour 
of  the  night,  leaving  him  still  absorbed  in  his  books. 

One  of  these  evenings  I  can  never  forget.  It  was,  I 
well  remember,  during  the  harvest  moon,  well  nigh  a 
year  ago.  Never  have  I  seen  a  finer  evening.  There 
was  not  a  cloud  in  all  the  heavens.  The  moon  was  at 
the  full,  and  the  stars  shone  with  more  than  their  wonted 
brilliancy;  glittering,  gorgeous — one  mighty  sea  of 
light  and  beauty.  I  could  hear  from  the  avenue — for 
the  office  was  on  the  street — the  hum  of  voices,  and  the 
pattering  and  shuffling  of  many  feet;  and  I  caught 
now  and  then  a  strain  of  delicious  music  from  the  win- 
dows of  Carusi's. 

Small  attractions  these  for  the  doctor,  though  he  was 
one  of  the  devoutest  of  Nature's  worshipers.  He  had 
apparently  a  new  case,  for  I  saw  him  take  down  book 
after  book,  and  some  of  the  oldest  and  mustiest,  as  if 
he  had  met  with  some  phase  of  disease  of  a  very  un- 
usual character. 

"  Um  !"  he  would  exclaim  occasionally.  "  Yes,  that 
looks  a  little  like  it!" 

And  then  he  would  lean  his  head  upon  his  hand,  as  if 
buried  in  thought,  and  muttering 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  51 

"No!  no!  that  won't  do!" 

He  would  take  down  another  book. 

"Fred,  my  boy,  you'd  better  go  to  bed.  I  shan't  be 
ready  to  retire  for  a  long  while  yet." 

And,  without  looking  to  see  whether  I  went  or  not,  he 
resumed  his  labor.  My  curiosity  was  now  aroused,  and 
I  resolved  to  keep  awake  and  observe  him.  The  hours 
wore  slowly  away,  and  midnight  came.  He  started  sud- 
denly as  the  clock  struck.     The  watchman  was  passing. 

"T-w-e-1-v-e  o'clock,  an'  all's  well!'"  drawled  that 
drowsy  functionary. 

"No,  my  good  man,  all's  not  well!"  and  he  pulled 
the  bell  furiously.     Black  Scip  made  his  appearance. 

"Scip." 

"Sah." 

"  You  know  where  Mrs.  A lives,  on street?" 

"Yes,  massa." 

"  Well,  go  round  there  and  see  how  Miss  Mary  is, 
and  tell  the  nurse  I'll  be  there  in  an  hour." 

"  Yes,  massa." 

The  old  doctor  now  closed  his  books,  and  leaned  his 
head  thoughtfully  upon  his  hand,  remaining  so  long  in 
perfect  silence  that  I  began  to  think  he  must  be  asleep. 
All  at  once,  however,  he  started ;  lifted  his  glasses  over 
his  lofty  forehead,  paused  a  moment,  and  then  sprang 
up  from  his  chair. 

"By  the  Olympian  Jove!"  exclaimed  he,  in  a  low, 
but  exulting  tone,  "  I  have  it.  Eureka!  She  shall 
live.  I  shall  SAVE  her  !"  And,  with  a  school-boy  spring 
of  irrepressible  joy,  he  upset  a  pyramid  of  books,  with 
the  chair  and  the  inkstand,  seized  his  cane,  and  hurried 
out  of  the  office.  He  had  got  into  the  street,  bare- 
headed, when  old  Scip,  who  had  just  returned,  reminded 


52  nag's  head. 

him  that  he  had  forgotten  his  hat.  He  returned,  and 
-when  he  again  left  the  office,  I  gave  a  wink  to  old  Scip, 
and  followed  him.  He  strode  furiously  on  along  the 
avenue — and  "  the  avenue"  in  Washington,  you  know, 

means   Pennsylvania  Avenue — as  far   as  street. 

There,  at  the  corner,  he  came  full  tilt  in  contact  with 
a  plethoric  watchman,  who  was  ahout  to  consign  him  to 
"everlasting  redemption"  and  the  watch-house,  when 
the  doctor  gave  his  name.  A  few  doors  farther,  and 
he  sprang  lightly  up  the  marble  steps  of  a  noble  dwell- 
ing. I  followed  him.  Before  going  to  the  chamber,  he 
stopped  a  moment  in  the  hall,  and  sent  the  servant,  who 
met  him  at  the  door,  with  a  message  to  the  nurse. 
While  the  negro  was  gone,  I  slipped  in  unperceived ; 
and  when  the  doctor  ascended  the  stairs,  I  contrived  to 
follow  him  without  attracting  the  notice  of  the  servant. 
Fortunately  for  me,  he  left  the  door  of  the  sick  room 
ajar.  He  approached  the  bed-side  with  his  usual  quiet, 
noiseless  step,  and  taking  a  small,  fair,  attenuated  hand 
in  his  own,  applied  his  finger  to  the  wrist. 

"So,  Molly,  getting  better,  eh?  Keep  up  good  cou- 
rage, my  dear.     We'll  have  you  at  Carusi's  in  a  week!" 

There,  reposing  upon  an  embankment  of  pillows,  lay 
a  fair  girl.  She  could  not  have  been  more  than  seven- 
teen at  most.  Her  hair  had  escaped  from  restraint  and 
lay  in  masses  upon  the  pillow,  throwing  the  pale,  beau- 
tiful face  into  full  relief.  The  nurse  stood  near  with 
clasped  hands,  watching  the  doctor's  eye  as  if  to  divine 
the  fate  of  the  patient.  And  then,  as  if  she  knew  not 
what  else  to  do,  she  would  re-arrange  the  vials  and  cups 
upon  the  stand,  with  a  care-worn,  weary  expression  that 
made  my  heart  bleed  for  her. 

"There,  Molly,"  said  the  doctor,  "there's  a  prescrip- 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  53 

tion  I've  put  up  myself;  something  unusual  for  me:  but 
I  wouldn't  trust  anybody  else  to  put  it  up  for  you. 
There — not  a  word  now!"  seeing  her  about  to  speak. 
"Goodnight,  my  dear  Molly !  you'll  be  better  to-morrow, 
my  word  for  it.  God  bless  you !"  And,  bending  over 
her,  he  kissed  her  pale  forehead.  I  made  a  precipitate 
retreat,  and  got  home  in  time  to  be  snugly  in  bed  when 
he  came. 

She  was  saved!  You  are  aware  how  intimate  becomes 
the  relation  between  the  medical  adviser  and  the  family 
whom  his  skill  has  laid  under  such  obligations.  The 
intimacy  extended  to  my  mother  and  sisters,  and  I  need 

scarcely  tell  you  the  result.     Mary  A became  the 

centre  of  every  hope,  and  thought,  and  purpose;  and 
I  was  not  long  in  making  the  fact  known  to  her.  Nor 
were  her  parents  slow  to  make  a  similar  discovery, 
though  I  had  been  pluming  myself  on  my  skill  in  pre- 
serving the  secret  from  all  the  world. 

Mr.  A called  me  into  his  library  one  day,  and 

very  quietly  said  to  me  that  he  had  for  some  time  been 
aware  of  my  feelings  towards  his  daughter. 

"The  d 1  you  have!"  exclaimed  I,  utterly  thrown 

off  my  guard.  The  expression  offended  him;  and  he 
continued,  in  a  more  haughty  tone — 

"You  are  aware,  sir,  that  you  are  too  young  to  think 
of  marriage,  even  were  you  in  professional  life,  in  pros- 
perous business,  in  the  way  of  political  preferment,  or 
in  such  pecuniary  circumstances  as  would  justify  your 
taking  that  very  important,  I  may  say  the  most  import- 
ant, step  in  life.  Be  assured,  however,"  said  he,  perceiv- 
ing how  terribly  the  blow  fell  upon  me,  "that  lam  dis- 
posed to  be  your  friend,  and  to  aid  you  in  any  way  which 
you  will  point  out." 

5* 


54  nag's  head. 

Fool  that  I  was,  I  answered  him  tartly,  was  bowed 
with  icy  courtesy  out  of  the  room,  and  rushed  into  the 
street  in  a  state  little  better  than  sheer  madness. 
Until  the  gray  of  the  morning  did  I  pace  my  little 
chamber,  in  a  paroxysm  of  passion.  I  threw  myself 
exhausted  upon  my  bed,  and  slept  until  noon.  To  the 
inquiries  of  my  father  if  I  were  sick,  and  what  ailed 
me,  I  made  some  blundering  reply  that  failed  to  satisfy 
him.  He  left  me,  however;  and  I  employed  the  after- 
noon in  writing  a  score  of  notes  to  Mary,  and  burning 
as  many.  I  dressed  with  unusual  care,  and  as  the  clock 
struck  eight,  I  left  my  chamber  and  directed  my  steps 
to street. 

"Is  Mary  at  home?"  said  I  to  the  porter. 

"No,  massa;  Miss  Ma'y  ben  guoin  away." 

"Where?" 

"Don't  know,  massa.  She  ben  guoin  airly  dis  morn- 
in';  way  down  Virginny  somewhere.  Guoin  to  school, 
I  b'lieve." 

Semel  insanavimus  omnes;  and  I  am  no  exception  to 
the  rule.  I  went  stealthily  to  my  chamber,  took  what 
little  money  I  had,  packed  some  of  my  best  clothes,  and 
books,  and  other  articles,  and,  going  to  an  old  Shylock 
of  a  pawnbroker  (whom  may  the  gods  reward!)  sold 
them  all  to  him  for  the  paltry  sum  of  ten  dollars !  Of 
this  beggarly  sum  even,  he  managed  to  rob  me  partially 
by  giving  me  English  sovereigns  instead  of  half-eagles. 
But  I  was  not  to  be  turned  from  my  purpose  by  trifles. 
I  went  to  a  slop-shop,  bought  me  a  fustian  jacket,  trow- 
sers  of  the  same,  and  a  tarpaulin;  and  as  the  day  broke 
next  morning,  I  stole  out  quietly,  and  took  the  road  for 
Baltimore.     In  the  cars  I  should  have  been  recognized, 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  55 

and  I  therefore  resolved  to  go  on  foot.  It  was  a  cool, 
bracing  morning,  and  my  step  was  springy  and  buoyant 
as  I  strode  onward  in  a  fever  of  excitement.     I  heard 

the  bell  of  old  McL 's  academy,  which  always  rang 

at  daybreak ;  and  its  tones,  with  the  associations  it 
roused,  brought  the  hot  tears  to  my  eyes. 

But  I  was  soon  absorbed  by  new  thoughts  and  impres- 
sions. I  was  free.  From  a  child  I  had  always  been 
impatient  of  restraint.  To  kindness  I  was  as  sunshine; 
to  anything  else  I  was  as  untamable  as  the  hyena.  No 
wonder,  then,  that  I  bounded  on;  that  I  ran,  and  leaped, 
instead  of  walked  along;  and  that  I  actually  shouted 
aloud  "I'm  free!  I'm  free!"  I  trudged  stoutly  on, 
looking  enviously  in  upon  the  happy  cabins  and  farm- 
houses, and  amusing  myself  by  the  Aladdin-like  con- 
struction of  palaces,  which  all  my  subsequent  experience 
has  been  pulling  down. 

I  began  to  be  weary.  The  sun  poured  down  his 
scorching  rays  upon  me,  and  as  I  began  the  last  four 
leagues  of  my  clay's  journey,  it  seemed  to  me  that  I 
must  sink  down  exhausted  by  the  wayside.  My  thoughts 
turned  homeward.  Why  had  I  left  them  all  ?  the  good 
old  doctor,  my  more  than  mother,  and  my  adopted  sis- 
ters? Why  had  I  not  gone  after  Mary,  traced  her 
from  town  to  town,  and  won  her  in  spite  of  them  all  ? 
I  looked  down  upon  my  fustian  attire;  I  pulled  off  my 
tarpaulin;  I  looked  down  upon  my  dust-covered  shoes, 
within  which  my  feet  were  aching  in  every  joint,  and,  in 
spite  of  all  the  stoicism  I  had  resolved  upon,  I  wept  long 
and  bitterly.  I  had  but  a  few  dollars.  What  should  I 
do  ?  Work  there  was,  enough  of  it ;  but  how  was  I  to 
get  it  with  my  girlish  frame  and  hands? 


56  nag's  head. 

But  I  was  too  proud  to  turn  back.  The  die  was  cast. 
I  had  staked  all  upon  it.  I  would  do  wonders,  I  thought. 
I  would  come  back  rich,  if  not  famous,  and  then  Mary 
should  be  mine.  God  bless  her!  She  knew  that  I 
loved  her.  I  knew  that  I  was  not  less  dear  to  her. 
They  had  torn  her  away,  and,  in  the  bitterness  of  that 
hour's  unutterable  misery,  I  cursed  them  for  their  ruth- 
less cruelty. 

At  last  I  reached  Baltimore.  It  was  just  at  night- 
fall. Little  thinking  of  the  change  in  my  appearance, 
I  went  to  one  of  the  best  hotels,  as  I  had  been  accus- 
tomed to  do,  and  was  recalled  to  a  very  vivid  sense  of 
my  condition  by  the  scarcely  disguised  look  of  sur- 
prise, and  the  meaning  smile  of  the  clerk  as  I  asked 
if  I  could  be  accommodated  there  for  the  night. 

"  We  Sire  full  to-night !"  said  he,  after  a  moment's  con- 
ference with  another  person.     I  turned  on  my  heel  and 

sought  humbler  quarters.    I  slept  at  the Inn,  in  the 

upper  part  of  the  city.  There  was  a  motley  set,  I  re- 
member, in  the  bar-room  ;  but  the  greater  part  were 
teamsters,  who  had  come  from  the  western  counties 
with  their  huge  wagons  laden  with  tons  of  the  produce 
of  their  farms. 

As  you  may  readily  imagine,  I  was  not  long  in  finding 
my  way  to  my  chamber.  It  was  small,  comfortless, 
dirty.  Now  that  I  had  halted,  I  felt,  far  more  than 
when  I  was  walking,  the  overpowering  sensation  of  ex- 
treme fatigue.  My  feet  were  sore  and  swollen,  and  my 
limbs  ached  so  that  I  could  not  sleep.  I  fell  at  last 
into  a  most  profound  slumber.  When  I  awoke,  it  was 
day.  A  drizzling  rain  was  falling,  and  everything 
around  looked  chilly,  gloomy,  and  cheerless.  I  was 
speedily  dressed,  and  having  paid  my  bill,  I  recommenced 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  57 

my  journey.  It  occurred  to  me,  however,  that  the  high- 
way, as  soon  as  I  had  got  beyond  the  curbstones,  would 
be  wet  and  muddy ;  and,  as  I  had  but  little  money,  I 
resolved  to  go  to  the  wharves,  and  procure  a  passage  to 
New  York  by  water.  I  was  sauntering  along  and  looking 
at  the  vessels,  when  a  voice  quite  near  me  accosted  me, 
in  gruff  sailor  tones,  with 

"  Hello,  shipmate  !  I  say  !  Don't  you  want  to  go 
a-fishin'  ?" 

"  Go  a-fishing  ?"  echoed  I,  in  some  surprise. 

"  Yes,  go  a-fishin'.  The  skipper  '11  give  you  twenty 
dollars  a  month.  We're  goin'  to  the  head  of  the  bay 
to  fish  for  herrin'.  If  you  say  you'll  go,  it's  a  bar- 
gain." 

"  Well,  I'll  go." 

"YoMwffl?" 

"I  will." 

And,  throwing  aside  my  fustian  jacket,  I  aided  him  in 
his  work.  He  was  discharging  a  little  schooner,  of  some 
fifty  tons,  of  a  load  of  wood.  This  we  soon  accom- 
plished ;  and  I  was  not  sorry  to  finish  the  work,  as  my 
hands  were  dreadfully  torn  by  the  splinters.  There 
were  a  few  lighter  jobs  during  the  day.  The  stores 
were  got  on  board,  and  at  daybreak  the  next  morning 
we  got  under  way.  Another  schooner,  about  the  size 
of  our  own,  got  under  way  a  few  minutes  later,  and 
came  bounding  along  in  our  wake.  I  shall  never  forget 
her  skipper  ;  a  fine,  manly-looking,  sailor-like  young 
man — for,  as  his  vessel  passed  us,  he  very  cooly  lifted 
his  tarpaulin,  and  said,  with  a  good-humored  smile, 

"  Good  by  !  I'll  report  you  !" 

Burly  John  Oldham,  the  same  man  who  accosted  me 
on  the  wharf,  was  at  the  helm  of  our  vessel.     He  took 


58  nag's  head. 

an  enormous  quid  of  tobacco,  fussed,  fidgeted,  exhausted 
the  Palinurian  tactics ;  but  in  vain  !  Our  neighbor  left 
us.  It  came  on  to  blow ;  and,  as  the  wind  was  from  the 
northward,  it  grew  bitterly  cold.  As  we  could  not  lay 
our  course,  we  were  obliged,  of  course,  to  beat.  The 
water  flew  all  over  her  decks,  and,  shivering  with  cold, 
I  crawled  below.  Old  John  Oldham,  his  face  as  red  as 
England's  flag,  maintained  his  position,  his  gravity,  and 
his  reputation  at  the  helm.  Occasionally,  he  would  give 
his  quid  a  fierce  thrust  from  one  cheek  to  the  other  as 
some  curling  breaker  sent  the  spray  into  his  face,  and 
gave  the  tiller  a  sudden  jerk  that  well  nigh  upset  him. 
Never  a  word  said  he,  meantime,  though  the  wind  was 
increasing  to  almost  a  storm  ;  but  his  compressed  lip 
and  glistening  eye  said,  as  plainly  as  words  could  have 
expressed  it, 

"  0  !  it  aint  no  use,  old  barky  !  I've  seen  salt  water 
outside  o'  the  capes,  and  I  aint  agoin'  to  be  flustered  by 
a  little  spirt  of  a  nor'wester  in  this  ere  little  mill-pond. 
The  bloody  old  Chesapeake  's  gittin'  sort  o'  riled  to- 
day!" 

Once,  I  remember,  when  we  were  going  in  stays,  the 
schooner  wouldn't  come  into  the  wind.  We  wore,  and 
in  doing  so  the  fore-gaff  was  nearly  carried  away. 
What  with  the  swearing  and  shouting,  and  the  clatter  of 
ropes  and  sails,  I  had  made  up  my  mind  to  be  ship- 
wrecked. The  wind  abated,  however,  and  having  re- 
paired damages,  we  stood  on,  and  reached  our  destina- 
tion at  nightfall.  At  daybreak  the  next  morning  we 
again  got  under  way,  and  soon  reached  the  fishing- 
beach.  The  seine  seemed  to  me  at  least  a  mile  long. 
I  was  placed  at  the  windlass,  and  right  lustily  did  I 
work,  until  noon,  among  the  brawny  fishermen.    I  sank 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  59 

utterly  exhausted  upon  the  ground  and  fell  into  a  pro- 
found sleep.  From  this  I  was  very  speedily  awakened, 
and  not  in  the  gentlest  way  in  the  world,  by  the  summons 
to  dinner.    This  was  of  fat  pork,  fried  herrings,  and 

bread.     Utterly  unable  to  work,  I  begged  Mr.  B , 

my  employer,  to  release  me.  After  some  efforts  to  per- 
suade me  to  stay,  he  consented,  and  I  took  passage  that 
very  evening  for  the  head  of  the  Bay.  A  short  walk  the 
next  morning  brought  me  to  the  railroad ;  and.  following 
it  to  the  next  station,  I  seated  myself  in  the  cars. 

It  was  sunset  when  we  reached  Philadelphia.  I  went 
to  a  less  frequented  hotel  than  the  one  I  first  entered  in 
Baltimore  ;  but  from  that,  even,  the  reception  I  met  with 
was  none  of  the  most  cordial;  and  I  remember  thinking, 
as  I  walked  to  the  lower  part  of  the  city,  that  a  fustian 
suit  and  a  tarpaulin,  though  well  enough  under  some 
circumstances,  were  not  the  best  possible  recommenda- 
tions at  a  fashionable  hotel.  I  entered  a  plain,  old- 
looking  tavern  not  far  from  the  wharves.  There  were 
half  a  score  of  shabby-looking  loungers  gathered  round 
a  coal-fire,  in  a  dilapidated  grate,  which  sent  forth  one 
of  the  most  villainous  of  odors — 

"  A  very  ancient  and  a  fisk-like  smell/' 

of  which  I  would  be  very  sorry  to  have  Pictou  or  Penn- 
sylvania own  the  paternity. 

The  landlady,  an  Irishwoman,  fastened  her  large  elo- 
quent eyes  upon  me  as  I  entered,  and  looked  closely, 
though  gently  and  kindly  into  mine,  as  I  asked  if  I 
could  lodge  there  for  the  night. 

"Ye  can  do  that  same,"  was  the  reply.  "Bring  a 
chair,  Pat,  ye  thaif  o'  the  world  !  don't  ye  see  the  lad's 


60  nag's  head. 

fatigued  intirely  ?     Ye'll  be  the  better  for  a  thrifle  to 
ate,  I'm  thinkin,"  added  she,  addressing  me. 

I  had  determined  to  go  without  supper,  for  m y  money 
had  dwindled  away  to  a  single  shilling. 

"  No,  I  thank  you,  madam,"  said  I ;  "  I  am  very  tired, 
and  would  like  to  go  to  bed." 

"Och!  bother!  niver  expect  me  to  listen  till  that! 
Ye're  hungry,  lad,  forby  bein'  tired ;  and  it's  not  far 
ye'll  be  from  bein'  sick  this  blessed  minnit.  Ate  some- 
thing, man ;  its  free  till  ye ;  an'  to  bed  ye'll  not  go 
without  supper  in  the  house  o'  Margaret  McGuire!" 

With  a  silent  invocation  of  Heaven's  best  blessings 
on  the  warm-hearted  hostess,  I  seated  myself  at  the 
table;  she,  meanwhile,  continued  to  talk  as  I  made 
my  simple  repast. 

"  It's  not  in  the  like  o'  this  you're  used  to  ate,  I'm 
thinkin,"  said  she;  and,  without  appearing  to  notice 
my  embarrassment,  she  added, 

"  I've  a  lad  o'  my  own,  as  old  as  yersel'  maybe. 
He's  gone  to  say.  Ochone !  bad  luck  till  the  day  he 
wint !  He's  wid  strangers,  maybe,  like  you ;  and  I 
wouldn't  slape  av  I  thought  any  one  in  a  furrin  coun- 
thry  'ud  let  him  go  till  his  bed  without  atin'  a  mouthful 
of  parathies,  or  a  dish  of  bread  and  milk,  av  there  was 
no  betther  to  be  had." 

I  strolled  out  after  supper,  and  whiled  away  a  half 
hour  in  looking  into  the  shops.  As  I  turned  away  to 
go  to  the  hotel  (if  I  may  so  dignify  it),  I  bethought  me 
of  a  gentleman  whose  acquaintance  I  had  made  a  year 
before,  and  who  was  then  a  boarder  at  the  Marshall 
House.  I  went  to  the  hotel.  The  porter  who  an- 
swered my  timid  ring  replied  to  my  inquiry  for 
Mr. . 


THE  GRAVE  OP  THE  OAKS.  61 

"I  b'lieve  de  gemman  not  in.  I'll  see,  though,"  add- 
ed he,  as  he  saw  my  earnest  look  ;  "jis  wait  a  minnit." 

He  returned  with  the  intelligence  that  Mr.  M 

was  at  home.     I  followed  him  to  the  chamber. 

"Dis  am  Massa  M 's  room." 

The  breeding  of  the  gentlemanlike  M was  not 

proof  against  the  change  in  my  personal  appearance ; 
but  the  startled  look  of  wonderment  faded  into  a  far 
graver  expression,  and  this  last  was  followed  by  one  of 
his  usual  welcome  smiles.  I  frankly  told  him  all.  At 
first  he  remonstrated. 

"  Take  off  this,"  said  he,  touching  my  fustian  jacket. 
"  In  an  hour's  time  I'll  have  you  in  proper  trim.  I  can 
furnish  you  the  money  to  return,  and  a  line  from  me 
to  the  doctor  will  set  all  right." 

To  all  he  could  say,  I  replied  that  I  had  made  my 
choice,  and  must  go. 

"At  least,"  said  he,  "let  me  get  you  a  berth  and 
your  outfit;"  and  to  this,  after  some  debate,  I  consent- 
ed. It  so  happened  that  there  was  no  voyage  that  pre- 
cisely suited  me.  There  was,  however,  a  Boston  mer- 
chant then  in  the  city,  a  friend  of  Mr. 's,  who  was 

one  of  the  owners  of  the  good  ship  C ,  then  bound 

to  Valparaiso  and  a  market.     In  reply  to  the  inquiries 

of  my  friend  M ,  he  said  he  had  no    doubt  but 

that  I  could  get  a  berth  in  her,  and  that  if  I  chose  I 
might  bear  him  company,  as  he  would  leave  the  city  in 

the  afternoon.     M wrung  my  hand,  as  I  bade  him 

good-by. 

"  Perhaps  it's  best,  after  all,  Fred,"  said  he.    "Write 
to  me,  and  be  sure  you  so  conduct  yourself  as  to  be 
able  to  write  me  a  good  account  of  what  you  have  done. 
6 


62  nag's  head. 

Be  away  a  year  or  so,  and  then  come  back  ;  study  medi- 
cine, and  marry  Mary  A in  spite  of  them  all!" 

I  attempted  to  say  something  in  reply,  but  my  emo- 
tions overpowered  me,  and  with  a  choking  sensation  in 
my  throat,  which  prevented  all  utterance,  I  pressed  his 
hand  in  both  of  mine,  and  hurried  away. 

It  was  at  daybreak  on  the  second  morning  after  I 
left  Philadelphia  that  we  arrived  at  Boston.  The 
market-wagons,  milk-carts,  and  bread-carts  were  begin- 
ning to  rattle  over  the  pavements  as  we  entered  the  city. 
There  were  stirring,  too,  some  few  of  those  desperate 
early  risers,  martyr-like  health-seekers,  muffled  to  the 
chin,  and  looking  fiercely  out  from  the  entrenchments 
of  furs  and  flannels,  in  which  their  faces  were  defen- 
sively posted,  upon  the  fog  and  the  gray  sky,  as  they 
strode  around  the  Common. 

By  the  advice  of  my  companion,  I  went  to  the  Mari- 
ner's House,  where,  by  the  by,  I  found,  for  the  few  days 
I  was  there,  comfortable  quarters,  and  the  kindest  of 
treatment.     About  a  week  after  my  arrival,  I  signed 

"the  articles,"  as  "a  green  hand"  on  board  the  C , 

at  eight  dollars  a  month.  "  0  wThat  a  fall  was  there' 
to  my  dreams  of  a  fortune  !  It  was  too  late,  however, 
to  recede. 

The  next  morning  we  hauled  out  in  the  stream,  and 
the  following  day  we  got  our  anchor  at  daybreak,  and 
made  sail.  The  wind  hauled  to  the  eastward  as  we  came 
up  with  Cape  Cod.  Bearing  away,  we  ran  through 
"The  Swash  of  the  Horseshoe,"  and  stood  on  through 
the  Vineyard  Sound.  At  five  in  the  afternoon,  the  land 
grew  dim,  and  I  breathed  my  silent  adieu  to  my  native 
land.  The  wind  freshened,  hauling  a  little  to  the 
northward ;  and,  as   they   say  at  sea,  it  began  to  get 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  63 

rough.  With  several  others  I  made  my  way,  with  an 
overpowering  feeling  of  nausea  and  dizziness,  to  the  lee 
scuppers,  and  paid  the  first  bitter  tribute  to  Old  Nep- 
tune. I  remember — faintly  as  if  it  were  a  dream — 
that  I  crawled  wearily  below  into  the  dark,  filthy,  fore- 
castle, and  managed,  Jioio  I  know  not,  to  stretch  my 
limbs 

"  On  my  pallet  of  straw." 

It  happened,  for  some  reason,  that  I  had  not  had  an 
anchor  watch  while  we  were  lying  in  port,  and  I  had  for- 
gotten, if  I  had' ever  known,  that  a  very  material  por- 
tion of  a  sailor's  work  was  to  be  done  in  the  night. 
Judge,  then,  of  my  amazement — my  utter  consterna- 
tion— when  with  three  blows  of  a  handspike  upon  the 
deck  just  above  my  head,  and  a  voice  which  could  have 
scarcely  been  more  terrible  to  me  had  it  been  "the  last 
trump,"  the  mate  shouted 

"All  star-bowlines  ahoy — y — y  !  Twelve  o'clock, 
bullies!     Tumble  up  here  !     D'ye  hear?" 

"  Ay,  ay  !"  growled  some  drowsy  old  salt ;  and,  after 
some  delay  and  no  little  hard  swearing,  a  light  was 
struck,  and  the  watch  turned  out.  Sick  as  I  was — and 
I  cared  little  whether  I  lived  or  died — I  went  on  deck. 
"Olympian  Jove !"  exclaimed  I,  as  I  reached  the  scut- 
tle. The  darkness  was  as  rayless  as  that  of  the  land 
of  Nile.  I  groped  my  way  staggering,  and  occa- 
sionally falling  headlong,  to  the  weather-rail,  and  there, 
shivering  under  the  bulwarks,  wet  with  the  spray,  sick, 
exhausted,  I  remained  during  the  long,  cheerless  four 
hours  of  my  first  night-watch  at  sea.  I  have  since  known 
something  of  hardships,  have  ridden  out  many  a  gale, 


64  nag's  head. 

but  never  afterwards,  in  my  recollection,  was  I  so  glad 
to  hear  the  welcome  words, 

"Eight  bells!  call  the  watch!"  and,  a  few  minutes 
afterward, 

"  Go  below,  the  watch  V 

I  will  not  tire  you  with  the  details  of  our  outward 
passage.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  I  was  not  long  in  get- 
ting my  sea-legs  on  ;  that  I  took  my  tuck  at  the  wheel 
the  second  day  out,  and  that  I  learned  "  the  ropes" 
sooner  than  any  other  green  hand  on  board.  We  had 
a  terrific  storm  off  the  mouth  of  the  river  La  Plata,  and 
some  snow-squalls  off  the  Cape  ;  but,  on  the  whole,  we 
had  a  pleasant  passage — one  hundred  and  twenty  days 
to  Valparaiso. 

One  of  our  men-o'-war  entered  the  harbor  just  ahead 
of  us.  I  can  give  you  little  idea  of  the  joy  one  feels, 
after  a  long  passage,  on  seeing  the  stars  and  stripes  in 
a  foreign  port.  It  tells  you  of  home  ;  and  it  wakes  a 
host  of  thoughts  and  feelings  that  send  your  blood  shi- 
vering along  your  arteries  with  ungovernable  excite- 
ment. What,  then,  think  you,  were  my  feelings  as  the 
sloop  ahead  of  us  came-to  just  under  the  stern  of  the 

frigate  S ,  at  whose  peak  our  beautiful  ensign  was 

floating  lazily  in  the  breeze,  and  the  frigate's  band 
struck  the  notes  of  "The  Star-Spangled  Banner?"  I 
wept  like  a  school-boy,  and  was  glad  to  be  able  to  con- 
ceal my  tears  by  leaning  over  the  rail. 

It  was  dark  when  we  had  got  everything  snug  for  the 
night.  The  moon  rose  over  the  crescent  city ;  the 
lights  glistened  from  the  hillsides,  and  the  songs  of  the 
fishermen  came  to  our  ears  mingled  with  the  mellow 
tones  of  the  evening  bells.     I  went  below. 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  65 

It  chanced  to  be  my  anchor-watch  from  eleven  to 
twelve.  I  was  called  at  eleven,  and  had  been  on  deck 
but  a  few  minutes  when  I  heard  the  sound  of  oars.  The 
sound  grew  more  distinct,  and  the  long,  slow,  measured 
stroke  assured  me  that  it  belonged  to  a  man-o'-war.  It 
hove  in  sight. 

Suddenly  the  men  lay  upon  their  oars,  and  a  strain 
of  music,  the  softest,  richest,  as  I  then  thought,  I  had 
ever  heard, 

"  Nighest  bordering  on  heaven," 

came  over  the  motionless  waters  of  the  bay.  The  water 
was  glistening  like  a  silver  sea  ;  its  mirror-like  surface 
being  broken  only  by  the  cutter,  as  she  glided  silently 

under  the  stern  of  the  S .     It  was  the  band  of  the 

English  frigate,  with  her  officers.     The  officers  of  the 

S came  on  deck,  and  her  quarter-rail  and  taffrail 

were  soon  lined  with  glistening  uniforms. 

"  Thank  you !  thank  you !"  shouted  a  manly  voice 
among  the  American  officers ;  but  it  was  unheard  in 
the  music  of  the  band,  and  the  boat  glided  away  as 
noiselessly  as  she  had  come,  the  notes  of  one  of  the  Ells- 
ler  dances  sending  a  thrill  of  delicious  pleasure  to  every 
vein. 

We  soon  discharged  the  C ,  and  stood  along  the 

coast  to  several  ports  (Cognimbo  and  Arica  among 
others),  and  in  about  three  months  had  stowed  her  with 
copper  (in  pigs),  hides,  Nicaragua  wood  and  wool, 
together  with  some  tons  of  saltpetre,  and  returned  to 
Valparaiso.  Never  shall  I  forget  the  morning  that  we 
got  our  anchor.  It  was  at  the  dawn  of  day,  and  a  light 
breeze  was  blowing  off  the  land. 

Tom  Gomer,  or  the  Doctor,  as  we  familiarly  called 
6* 


66  nag's  head. 

him  (always  the  cook's  soubriquet  at  sea),  went  to  the 
windlass  with  us,  and  began  the  heart-stirring  air  of 

"  Time  for  us  to  go,  my  bullies  !" 

as  we  shipped  the  brakes  of  the  windlass. 

"  Time  for  us  to  go  \" 

was  the  roisterly  chorus  ;  and  the  hot  tears  came  in  tor- 
rents over  the  stiff  wrinkles  of  many  a  weather-beaten 
face,  as  we  "  walked  the  anchor  to  the  bows,"  and 
whispered  exultingly  to  each  other  "  Homeward  hound, 
homeward  bound  !"  The  words  recall  to  me  the  deli- 
rious excitement  of  that  calm,  beautiful  morning :  the 
rippled  waters  of  the  bay  ;  the  silent  city  ;  the  drum-beat 
on  board  the  men-o'-war,  succeeded  by  the  hoarse  call  of 
the  boatswain's  mates,  "  A-l-1  hands  !"  the  blue  heights 
of  the  Andes  in  the  distance,  and  the  roar  of  the  surf 
upon  the  rocks  that  lie  at  the  entrance  of  the  harbor. 
The  mate  called  for  the  fall  and  the  fish-davit,  and  the 
anchor  came  to  the  cat-head  and  upon  the  rail,  to  the 
air  of  "  Cheerily  men  !"  as  if  it  had  been  for  its  weight 
a  nursery  toy. 

It  was  on  a  glorious  morning  in  June  that  the  watch 
below,  myself  among  them,  were  startled  by  the  loud 
cry  of  "Light,  0  !  Sail,  0  !"  in  quick  succession.  We 
were  among  the  mackerel-smacks  ;  and  it  was  not  long 
ere  some  one  shouted  from  the  foretopmast  cross-trees, 
"LandO!" 

"Where  away?"  shouted  the  old  man  (nautice',  for 
the  captain),  as  he  came  to  a  sudden  halt  on  the  poop- 
deck. 

"  Right  ahead,  sir  !  the  Capes  in  plain  sight !" 

It  fell  calm,  however,  and  it  was  late  in  the  afternoon 
when  we  passed  the  sand-hills  of  Cape  Cod.    The  breeze 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS.  67 

then  freshened ;  and,  when  a  few  leagues  from  Boston 
Light,  a  pilot-boat  darted  like  a  dolphin  under  our  lee 
and  hailed  us. 

"Want  a  pilot?" 

"  Yes." 

"  Lay  your  maintopsail  to  the  mast,  and  I'll  board  you.'' 

The  wind  again  became  "  baffling."  Night  came  on. 
Boston  light  beamed  in  its  benignant  beauty  upon  the 
sea,  and  at  eleven  o'clock  we  let  go  the  anchor  abreast 
of  Spectacle  Island.  The  live-long  night  did  I  pace 
the  deck  in  a  fever  of  excitement.  The  fragrance  of 
the  fields  and  orchards  came  off  to  us  with  the  fresh  air 
of  the  morning,  and  the  day  dawned  in  beauty.  As  the 
sun  rose,  we  got  under  way,  and  at  nine  o'clock  we  were 
along  side  of  Lewis'  wharf,  sails  unbent — the  runners 
aboard,  and  the  derrick  up  ready  for  discharging. 

Without  waiting  to  doff  my  sailor  attire,  I  took  the 
cars  that  evening  for  Fall  River,  where  I  got  on  board 
the  "  Bay  State,"  and  at  sunrise  next  morning  I  was  in 
New  York.  It  had  been  my  intention  to  go  home 
dressed  as  a  sailor,  in  order  to  give  the  doctor  a  sur- 
prise. I  thought  of  Mary,  however ;  and,  remaining  two 
days  in  New  York,  I  dressed  with  scrupulous  care,  and 
then  set  out  for  Washington. 

It  was  already  dark  when  I  reached  the  city.  There 
was  the  usual  throng  upon  the  avenue,  as  I  walked 
rapidly  along,  valise  in  hand,  towards  home.  When 
within  a  few  steps  of  the  door,  I  was  very  roughly  jos- 
tled by  some  one  going  in  the  opposite  direction,  as 
much  in  a  hurry,  apparently,  as  myself. 

"  Howly  mother  o'  Moses  !"  exclaimed  a  harsh  femi- 
nine voice.  "  Tin  thousan'  pardons,  sir ;  but  could  ye 
inform  me  where's  Docther  — 's  office  ?" 


68  nag's  head. 

"  Yes,  I  am  going  there." 

"  Well,  thin,  make  haste  honey,  for  the  loye  of  the 
Holy  Yargin  ,  for  she's  dyin'  !" 

"  Who  is  dying  ?" 

"  Why,  Mary  A ,  to  he  shure,  that's  sick  since 

this  day  twelvemonth." 

The  office  door  was  open.  Throwing  my  valise  into 
the  hall,  I  motioned  to  a  hackman. 

"  Drive  me  to  Mrs.  A 's,  on street.     Quick  ! 

here's  a  dollar  for  you." 

The  coach  thundered  along  the  avenue,  turned  into 

street,  and  stopped.     The  door  opened,  the  steps 

rattled,  and  I  sprang  upon  the  sidewalk.  Without 
stopping  to  question  the  servant  who  answered  my  ring, 
I  rushed  past  him  up  the  stairs  to  the  room  where  I  bad 
last  seen  Mary  A .  In  an  instant,  I  was  at  the  bed- 
side.    A  smile  lighted  up  the  thin  wasted  features — 

"  A  smile  of  the  old  sweetness — " 

as  she  placed  her  hand  in  mine  ;  a  crimson  flush  over- 
spread her  cheek  for  an  instant ;  then  there  was  a  faint 
pressure  from  the  frail  fingers  that  lay  in  mine ;  then 
a  gasp — and  Mary  A was  dead  ! 

What  followed  I  know  not.  When  I  recovered  my 
reason,  Dr. was  by  my  bedside ;  and  on  a  light- 
stand  near  him  was  a  goodly  array  of  cups  and  phials. 
A  tear  was  glistening  in  his  eye  as  he  caught  the  glance 
of  mine,  and,  clasping  his  hands  as  he  looked  upward, 
he  exclaimed,  in  his  low,  earnest  tones,  "Thank  God!" 

"  Not  a  word,  my  boy,"  he  added;  "  not  a  word  now. 
You'll  be  stronger,  soon.  Keep  perfectly  quiet,  and 
you'll  soon  be  well." 

My  recovery  was  slow.     To  banish  as  far  as  possible 


THE  GRAVE  OF  THE  OAKS. 


the  sad  recollections  that  thronged  upon  me,  the  doctor 
brought  me  here.  He  could  not  remain ;  but  I  have 
friends  here,  among  whom  I  am  glad  to  reckon  your- 
self, and  am  as  happy  as  I  can  ever  hope  to  be. 


The  night  had  waned  into  the  "  small  hours"  as  the 
stranger  finished  his  story.  The  dancing  in  the  saloon 
had  long  been  over ;  and  the  hotel,  if  I  may  except  the 
monotonous  twang  of  a  guitar  from  a  distant  apartment, 
was  quiet.  With  such  expressions  of  sympathy  and  re- 
gard as  I  could  command,  I  bade  my  friend  good-night ; 
and,  wading  through  the  sand  to  the  sound  shore,  I  was 
soon  at  home  and  in  my  chamber.  In  the  few  remain- 
ing hours  of  the  night,  I  remember  having  a  medley  of 
dreams,  in  which,  on  land  and  sea,  I  too  was  a  wanderer, 
loved  and  was  loved  again,  and  saw  the  clods  of  the 
valley  that  had  closed  over  the  grave  of 

"  Hopes  that  were  angels  in  their  birth, 
But  perished  young,  like  things  of  earth." 

When  I  next  visited  the  hotel,  the  stranger  was  gone. 
Rumor  whispered  that  a  bright-eyed  Virginia  girl  who 
did  not  often  visit  the  hotel,  but  chanced  one  evening 
to  leave  the  "  up  guoines"  for  the  dancing  saloon,  had 
very  manifestly  been  of  service  in  dispelling  his  melan- 
choly, and  giving  him  wiser  and  more  interesting  views  of 
life.  Certain  it  is  that  her  ring  was  seen  glistening  on 
his  finger  ;  that  they  left  in  the  same  packet ;  and  that 

when  Miss  Helen got  into  her  father's  coach  at 

Elizabeth  city,  it  needed  no  very  urgent  invitation  to 
induce  my  young  friend  to  accompany  them  to  the  old 
family  mansion  at  Barleywood. 

"  0  !  there's  nothing  half  so  sweet  in  life 
As  love's  young  dream  I" 


70  nag's  head. 


CHAPTER  IX. 


OLD    JACK. 


Among  the  faces  that  I  occasionally  see  of  an  even- 
ing, not  the  least  welcome  to  me  is  that  of  Old  Jack. 
Mention  the  name  to  any  one  of  the  hundreds  at  Nag's 
Head,  and  not  one  would  mistake  your  meaning.  I  re- 
member that  while  I  was  confined  to  my  chamber  by 
illness,  I  heard  one  day  tones  whose  gruffness  and 
growling  monotony  I  was  sure  must  belong  to  some 
"  old  salt;"  for  the  characteristic  is  as  easily  detected 
by  one  who  has  been  at  sea  as  is  the  rolling  gait  or 
any  other  peculiarity  which  marks  the  genuine  sailor. 

He  was  giving  to  my  friend  W an  account  of  the 

captain  of  the  packet  Fox.  He  had  really  nothing  to 
say  to  his  disadvantage,  but,  true  to  his  marine  instincts, 
he  must  of  necessity  "  growl"  about  something. 

"  I  don't  know,"  said  he  (and  he  would  need  but  a 
very  trifling  elevation  of  tone  wherewithal  to  cry  a  lost 
child  on  Broadway),  "  as  I  is  got  much  to  say  agin  de 
man.  He  knows  de  ropes,  for  sure,  an'  I'll  be  boun' 
he  didn't  creep  in  at  de  cabin  windows ;  but,  somehow, 
I  likes  a  man  what  knows  de  twenty -f 6'  letters  oh  de 
alfybet!" 

Jack  had  heard,  from  what  source  I  know  not,  that 
his  skipper  was  deficient  in  the  somewhat  common  con- 
veniences of  a  knowledge  of  reading  and  writing,  and, 


OLD   JACK.  71 

though  faithful  on  board  the  vessel,  he  was  never  tired 
on  shore  of  expressing  his  contempt  for  a  skipper  whose 
scientific  attainments  were  so  very  limited. 

Mr.  W was  fond  of  the  rough,  honest  old  sailor, 

possessing,  as  he  did,  more  intelligence  than  his  breth- 
ren, and  evincing  sterling  qualities,  that  won  for  him 
not  merely  good  treatment  but  hearty  regard  and  re- 
spect. The  old  sailor  was  an  oracle  in  all  matters  per- 
taining to  the  packets,  the  navigation  of  the  sound,  and 
the  history  of  Nag's  Head  from  its  earliest  settlement. 

It  is  known  very  generally  that  the  coast  of  North 
Carolina,  from  Cape  Hatteras  northward  as  far  as  Kill- 
devil  Hills,  has  been  noted  for  a  large  number  of  wrecks. 
The  light-house  near  the  New  Inlet  is  of  comparatively 
recent  construction.  Before  it  was  erected,  scarcely  a 
summer  passed  without  one  or  more  wrecks.  There  are 
some  frightful  tales  yet  current  of  wicked  deeds  on  that 
low  sandy  coast,  of  lanterns  tied  to  a  horse's  head,  and 
of  windows  that  looked  seaward  being  illuminated  at 
night ;  but  no  doubt  many  of  them  are  entitled  to  no 
credit. 

Certain  it  is,  however,  that  vessel  after  vessel  came 
ashore,  and  was  pillaged  of  its  freight  whenever  the  ar- 
ticles of  which  it  consisted  were  of  such  a  character  as 
to  excite  the  cupidity  of  the  bankers.  The  process  by 
which  it  disappeared  was  somewhat  mysterious. 

"  You  couldn't  see,"  said  Old  Jack,  "  anythin'  comin' 
out ;  dough  cley  did  say  dat  some  people  dat  went  aboard 
as  thin  as  ghosts  a'most  come  ashore  lookin'  like  a 
Baltimore  alderman  or  the  sheriff  in  court-week.  Dere 
was  de  brig  Moon,  ye  know,  massa  John,  an'  I  don't 
know  how  many  more.  Dey  do  say  dat  dere  is  some  of 
her  cargo  'bout  Nag's  Head  now  !" 


72  nag's  head. 

The  wrecks  were  a  theme  whose  fertility  was  never 
exhausted.  The  gestures,  the  fun-loving  wrinkles  at 
the  corners  of  his  eyes,  the  comic  mimicry  with  which 
old   Jack   illustrated   his    "  yarns,"    made   my   friend 

W at  all  times  a  ready  listener.     He  had  won  my 

attention,  too,  and,  when  I  had  recovered  my  health,  I 
was  always  glad  to  hear  him  talk.  It  so  happened,  one 
evening,  as  I  was  standing  under  the  branches  of  a 
noble  oak,  looking  down  upon  the  packets  as  they  lay  at 
anchor,  the  surface  of  the  sound  glistening  in  "the  pale 
moonlight,"  and  the  thousand  objects  which  the  moon 
always  clothes  with  beauty,  giving  additional  interest  to 
the  scene,  that  old  Jack  passed  near  me.     I  hailed  him. 

"  Jack." 

"  Sah  !  your  sarvant,  maussa  !" 

"  They  tell  me,  Jack,  that  you  have  seen  a  good  many 
wrecks  here  at  Nag's  Head." 

"Why  yes,  maussa,  I'se  been  in  dis  part  ob  de 
country  a  great  while." 

"The  crews  generally  escaped,  didn't  they,  Jack?" 

"  Not    al'ays !    not   al'ays,   maussa.     Dere   was    de 

Jo ,  de  Jo- ;  I  disremembers  the  bloody  name  jis 

now ;  dere  was  right  smart  o'  folks  drownded  when  she 
come  ashore." 

"  How  was  it,  Jack  ?" 

"  Why,  you  see,  maussa,  dis  was  a  good  many  years 
ago,  and  my  memory  aint  so  good  no  more  as  it  used  to 
be  ;  but  I'll  tell  you  all  about  it,  jis  as  fur  as  I  can  re- 
member. You  see  it  had  been  blowin'  great  guns  from 
the  east,  an'  for  five  or  six  days.  Den  it  come  on  to 
rain — ye  never  see  de  like  of  it !" 

"  Such  a  storm  as  we  had  last  week,  Jack?" 

"  Bless  your  soul,  maussa,  dat  wasn't  a  circumstance. 


OLD  JACK.  73 

De  chimneys  come  rattlin'  down,  the  shingles  blow  off, 
an'  de  tide — I  t'ought  my  soul  it  Vd  never  stop  risin'. 
Well,  dat  night  it  blowed  harder  'n  ever.  Jis  afore  sun- 
down, dere  was  a  brig  hove  in  sight  with  her  top-hamper 
all  carried  away.  De  wind  drove  her  strait  in  towards 
de  shore.  Well,  ye  see,  de  bankers  dey  come  down  to 
the  beach  to  see  her.  De  people"  (the  crew)  "  'peared 
to  be  tryin'  to  get  nail  on  her  and  claw  off;  but  Lor' 
bless  you,  maussa,  it  wan't  no  use.  Den  dere  was  some- 
body— it  was  de  cap'n,  I  s'pose — run  up  de  main  riggin' 
and  made  signals,  and  tried  to  say  somethin'  wid  de 
speakin'-trumpet.  He  stayed  alittle  toolong  in  de  riggin', 
for  when  de  brig  struck  it  knock  him  overboard,  and  it 
was  ail  day*  wid  him." 

"  But  why  didn't  they  lower  a  boat,  Jack  ?" 
"  I  been  guoine  to  tell  you.  You  see,  it  wan't  no  use 
nohow  to  try  to  lower  de  boat.  In  de  fus  place,  de 
boat  bin  knocked  off  de  davys  and  lost,  and  de  long- 
boat was  too  heavy  to  manage  in  a  gale  like  dat.  Lor' 
love  you,  maussa !  your  heart  would  bin  broke  to  see 
dem  poor  creturs.  Dey  all  went  aft  on  de  poop-deck 
and  tried  to  hang  on  to  de  rail.  Dere  was  a  lady'  mong 
'em.  Some  of  'em  was  washed  overboard  when  de  brig 
struck,  and  it  wa'n't  long  afore  dey  wa'n't  one  livin' 
soul  to  be  seen.  Some  on  'em  tried  to  swim  ashore,  but 
de  under-tow,  ye  see,  carry  'em  back,  an'  it  wan't  no  use. 
Dere  was  ten  of  'em  dat  we  picked  up  de  next  mornin'. 
De  cor'ner  sot  on  'em,  and  dey  was  buried  up  dere  by 
Jockey's  Ridge.  I  don't  never  want  to  see  no  more 
such  times  as  dem." 

*  "  All  day  with  Mm"  a  common  expression   among  sailors, 
meaning  "  he  was  killed." 

7 


74  nag's  head. 

"  Did  the  bankers  get  anything  from  her  t" 

"  Yes,  maussa,  de  beach  was  kivered  wid  de  boxes,  and 
barrels,  an'  I  don't  know  what  all." 

"Were  none  of  the  bodies  identified?" 

"What  you  been  guoine  to  say?" 

"  I  mean,  did  no  one  come  to  claim  any  of  the  bodies?" 

"  No,  maussa ;  yes  dere  was,  too.  Dere  was  one  ole 
gemman  from  Nansemond — I  disremember  what  his 
name  was — a  gray-haired  ole  man  dat  took  on,  an'  cried 
a  heap  about  de  young  lady ;  an'  it  'pears  to  me  dey 
carry  de  body  away  to  Yirginny." 

To  the  vessel,  Old  Jack  is  literally  wedded.  On  shore 
he  is  never  contented,  and  for  that  matter,  never  even 
at  sea  ;  for  your  true  old  salt  grumbles  at  the  most  favor- 
able dispensations  of  Providence.  Tell  him  "  who  kill- 
ed the  ganger"  (as  Curran  expressed  it),  and  he  would 
growl  if  you  couldn't  also  inform  him  "  who  wore  his 
corduroys." 

A  laughable  trait  of  Old  Jack's  (as  of  all  old  sailors) 
is  his  dogmatical  tone  in  all  nautical  matters.  Nothing 
about  a  vessel  but  he  considers  himself  supreme  autho- 
rity as  to  its  name  and  uses.  No  part  of  the  world  that 
he  has  not  visited  in  person,  or  which  some  shipmate  has 
not  seen  and  told  him  all  about  it  that  is  worth  knowing  ! 
There  was  a  discussion  among  the  crew  one  day  about  lati- 
tude. Jack  had  a  knot  of  listeners  round  him,  and  was 
detailing  to  some  of  his  untraveled  friends  a  few  of  the 
"Wonders  of  Nature  and  Providence." 

"  Ye  see,  dere  is  some  places  dat's  mighty  cole — 
cole  enough  to  freeze  de  ears  off  of  a  brass  monkey ! 
and  dere  is  oder  places  where  you  can  toast  a  sea-biscuit 
jis  by  leavin'  it  on  deck  in  de  sun.     In  some  of  dem 


SAND-FIDDLERS.  75 

dere  high  latitutes,  up  in  a  hundred  an'  ttventy,  an' 
along  dere." 

"  Why,  Jack,"  interrupted  the  mate  (a  white  man), 
" there  aint  so  much  latitude  as  that  nohow  ;  leastways, 
that  I  ever  hearn  tell  on!" 

"De  h — 1  dere  aint,  Bill!  Tse  bin  giioine  as  high  as 
96°  myself 7" 

With  all  his  faults,  old  Jack  is  a  fine,  manly  specimen 
of  a  son  of  the  sea.  With  his  native  shrewdness  and 
good  sense,  education,  and  opportunity  might  have 
placed  him  in  a  higher  and  more  congenial  sphere. 
Will  his"  benighted  brethren  never  be  one  of  the  sister- 
hood of  the  nations  that  are  free? 


CHAPTER  X. 

SAND-FIDDLERS. 

I  am,  as  James  would  say,  or  rather  as  he  has  said,  "  ma- 
tutinal" in  my  habits.  When  one  has  lain  for  hours  in 
the  night,  imparting  a  palsy-like  animation  (and  I  would 
here  be  understood  to  refer  very  particularly  to  the 
shaking  palsy)  to  one's  bed  by  the  vigorous  shiverings 
of  a  North  Carolina  ague,  or  "  chill"  there  is  no  very 
great  merit  in  your  being  matutinal  in  your  habits. 
Apropos  of  the  chills.  I  expressed  to  a  Carolinian, 
when  I  first  became  a  resident  in  the  old  North  State, 
my  surprise  at  the  sallowness  of  complexion  so  common 
everywhere,  and  especially  among  the  residents  of  the 
eastern  counties. 


76  nag's  head. 

"  Bless  your  heart,  my  dear  sir,  it's  nothing  at  all 
but  the  chills  and  fever!  Were  raised  on  it  here! 
I'm  rather  partial  to  a  chill,  myself!" 

I  was  speaking  of  the  custom  of  early  rising.  It  has 
not  attained  quite  to  the  character  of  custom  with  me, 
here  at  Nag's  Head ;  and  for  the  fact  that  I  rose  at 
four  this  morning,  I  make  no  claim  to  the  ordinary 
feeling  of  satisfaction  which  one  is  apt  to  feel  in  the 
exercise  of  such  heroic  self-denial.  The  truth  is  that  I 
had  been   ill.     I  had  lain,  feverish   and  restless,  for 

hours.     Of  them  all,  I  alone  was  awake.      C slept 

soundly,  though  ever  and  anon  he  would  mutter  some 
undistinguishable  words,  in  his  low,  pleasant  tones ;  and 
then  all  was  still.  I  say  still;  for  the  monotonous 
breathing  of  the  sleepers  around  me,  and  the  measured 
tick  !  tick  I  ticJc-mg  of  the  clock  were  but  foils  to  make 
the  silence  more  profound  and  more  appreciable. 
Night — restlessness — solitude — and  a  chill !  what  won- 
der that  I  rose  at  four  ? 

A  cool  breeze  from  the  ocean  greeted  me  as  I  step- 
ped forth  upon  the  sands,  and  I  involuntarily  directed 
my  steps  to  the  beach.  Old  Hector  came  bounding 
from  his  kennel,  though  he  had  discretion  enough  to 
stop  a  yard  from  me,  with  an  inquiring  look  and  a  wag 
of  his  tail,  which  I  construed  into 

"By  your  leave,  I'll  bear  you  company." 

I  was  patting  him  on  the  head,  when  Jumper  came 
wriggling  along  in  a  gait  partaking  the  elegancies  of 
both  a  rack  and  a  gallop,  and,  with  an  inconsiderate 
rush  at  my  nether  man,  very  nearly  upset  me.  I  hope 
I  may  be  forgiven.  I  had  come  forth  in  charity  with 
all  the  world.  I  had  felt  grateful  for  the  cool,  fresh  air 
of  the  sea,  and  the  song  of  the  birds,  and  the  promise 


SAND-FIDDLERS.  77 

of  a  beautiful  day.  I  had  been  gratified,  too,  at  the 
well-bred  retenue  of  old  Hector  in  his  courtly  way  of 
bidding  me  good  morning,  and  his  canine  tact  in  so 
quietly  " passing  the  time  o'  day." 

I  repeat  that  I  hope  I  may  be  forgiven.  For,  in  a 
momentary  uprising  of  wrath,  I  bestowed  on  poor 
Jumper,  whose  civilities  around  my  legs  were  getting  to 
be  very  decidedly  pressing,  a  kick,  in  which  I  concen- 
trated all  the  energy  that  the  chills  and  the  fever  had 
so  considerately  left  me.  Jumper  looked  up  at  me  with 
a  puzzled  and  astonished  expression  that  makes  me 
laugh  as  I  write ;  as  if  he  had  not  quite  made  up  his 
mind  that  he  might  reckon  the  civility  I  had  just  shown 
him  as  "  one  of  the  customs  of  the  country."  Without 
enlightening  him,  however,  as  to  the  lex  loci,  I  pursued 
my  way  to  the  beach. 

The  surf  was  breaking  finely  upon  the  shore ;  and, 
feeling  somewhat  fatigued,  I  seated  myself  on  a  par- 
tially decayed  cedar  stump,  that  I  might  rest  as  I  sur- 
veyed the  beauties  of  daybreak.  The  dogs  left  me, 
and,  to  say  the  truth,  I  was  glad  of  it.  I  like  com- 
pany when  I  am  traveling  amidst  fine  scenery ;  but  a 
sunrise  is  appreciated  best  when  seen  alone. 

As  I  sat  waiting  for  the  advent  of 

"The  all-beholding  sun," 

my  attention  was  arrested  by  a  very  different  object ; 
none  other  than  a  veritable  sand-fiddler — an  animal 
of  the  genus  crab,  I  take  it,  though  I  am  no  naturalist. 
He  was  evidently  "young  and  inexperienced;"  for 
he  halted  at  the  very  entrance  of  his  hole,  with  a 
feiv  of  his  legs  over  the  edge  of  it,  in  readiness  for  in- 
stant and  precipitate  retreat.     He  stared  at  me  as  none 


78  nag's  head. 

but  the  unsophisticated  can  stare,  and  I  returned  the 
civility.  He  had  four  legs  on  each  side,  between  which 
his  round  crab-like  body  hung  midway,  in  the  manner 
of  a  suspension  bridge,  and  two  antennae  in  front.  His 
black  piercing  eyes,  which  he  kept  immovably  fixed 
upon  me,  as  if  he  suspected  me  of  "takin'  notes,"  were 
at  the  extremity  of  two  shorter  antennae,  and,  so  far  as 
I  could  see,  were  capable  of  being  moved  in  any  direc- 
tion. While  I  was  surveying  him,  there  came  gradually 
forth  from  a  score  of  holes  as  many  of  the  many-leg- 
ged inhabitants.  My  young  friend,  I  found,  was  a  sand- 
fiddler  of  little  influence  in  the  community.  No  notice 
was  taken  of  him,  except  an  occasional  glance  of  re- 
proach for  being  the  first  to  pop  out  of  his  hole  in  the 
very  face  of  what  was  supposed  to  be  the  most  immi- 
nent danger. 

Anon,  in  the  throng  that  seemed  gathering  for  mu- 
tual conference  de  salute  republicee,  came  forth  the 
old  gray-beard  inhabitants.  With  all  the  dignity  of 
aldermen,  they  came  forward  in  a  direct  way  of  pro- 
gression. Among  the  younger  members  of  the  com- 
munity, there  was  now  and  then  a  buckish  or  coquettish 
display  of  the  fashionable  elegancies  of  gait,  "  aiqual 
to  a  milliner,"  as  Mr.  Mickey  Free  would  say. 

There  was,  at  first,  a  good  deal  of  bustle.  The  sages 
conferred  together,  and  some  among  them  seemed  satis- 
fied that  a  crisis  had  come,  or  was  about  to  come  in  the 
political  and  civil  history  of  Fiddlerville.  There  was  one 
lean  hungry-looking  fellow,  a  politician  I  was  certain, 
who  made  himself  conspicuous  by  running  about,  and 
sounding  the  views  of  the  citizens.  He  seemed  at  last  to 
have  secured  the  attention  of  all.  It  is  my  deliberate 
belief  that  he  was  making  a  speech.     If  there  had  been 


THE  PACKETS.  79 

any  resolutions  drawn  up,  I  was  not  cognizant  of  the  fact ; 
but  I  felt  sure  that  that  lean-looking  sand-fiddler  was 
successfully  persuading  the  majority  of  the  citizens  both 
of  their  danger  and  his  own  patriotism,  to  say  nothing  of 
their  own  indomitable  prowess,  which,  as  it  had  ever 
been  sufficient  to  defend  the  garrison,  would  now,  out  of 
all  question,  be  equal  to  the  present  alarming  crisis. 

The  sun  had  risen,  and  it  was  the  hour  for  breakfast. 
When  I  arose  to  depart,  the  whole  assembly  dispersed, 
my  patriotic  friend  being  the  first  in  the  inglorious  re- 
treat to  the  subterranean  city.  A  delicious  dish  of 
coffee  awaited  me  on  my  return.  John,  the  baby,  was 
making  the  house  ring  with  his  good-natured  roar.    My 

friend  W was  discussing  a  corned  mullet,  and  C 

had  already  ordered  his  horses  for  a  drive  with  some  of 
the  ladies. 


CHAPTER  XL 


THE  PACKETS. 


Nag-'s  Head  would  not  long  be  known  as  a  watering- 
place,  or  summer  resort,  but  for  the  peculiar  features 
which  distinguish  it  from  any  other  within  my  know- 
ledge. One  of  these  features  is  the  fact  that  a  very 
large  proportion  of  the  visitors  are  actual  residents  in 
private  dwellings.  True,  there  is  a  large  hotel,  and  it 
is  usually  thronged  from  the  first  of  July  until  the  latter 
part  of  September.     The  majority  of  those  who  take 


80  nag's  head. 

up  their  quarters  at  the  hotel  are  unmarried.  Planters, 
merchants,  and  professional  men  usually  have  a  snug 
cottage  at  Nag's  Head,  to  which  they  remove  their 
families,  with  the  plainer  and  more  common  articles  of 
household  furniture,  one-  or  more  horses,  a  cow,  and 
such  vehicles  as  are  fitted  for  use  on  sandy  roads;  a 
buggy  sometimes,  but  oftener  a  cart,  resembling  the 
convenient  Canadian  cart  or  the  Nantucket  "  calash" 
(caleche).  One,  two,  three,  sometimes  half  a  dozen  ser- 
vants accompany  the  family.  Indeed,  I  know  one  gen- 
tleman who  has  some  sixty  negroes  (children  and  in- 
valids for  the  most  part)  living  here,  not  far  from  his 
own  residence.  It  costs  but  little,  if  any  more,  to  keep 
them  here  than  it  would  to  leave  them  at  home. 

Now,  to  feed  so  many  hungry  mouths  there  must  be 
a  goodly  supply  of  provisions.  And,  inasmuch  as  no- 
thing can  be  cultivated  here,  the  supplies  must  come 
from  the  plantation.  As  fresh  vegetables  are  almost 
indispensable,  it  is  of  great  importance,  too,  that  the 
intercourse  between  Nag's  Head  and  home  should  be 
constant  and  regular. 

It  is  this  that  sustains  some  three  or  four  packets, 
which  run  usually  twice  a-week.  One  of  these  plies 
between  Elizabeth  city  and  Nag's  Head.  Another 
comes  from  Hertford  ;  another  from  Edenton,  and 
another  from  Salmon  River,  or  Merry  Hill  ;  the 
latter  being  owned  and  employed  hj  a  wealthy  gentle- 
man for  the  convenience  of  his  family  and  friends. 

None  of  these  packets,  I  believe,  run  less  than  sixty 
miles.  They  are  chartered,  if  I  am  rightly  informed, 
by  a  number  of  families  ;  and  for  a  stipulated  sum  carry 
them  back  and  forth,  and  convey  horses,  furniture,  pro- 
visions, and  other  freight  during  "  the  season." 


THE  PACKETS.  81 

It  will  readily  be  seen  that  the  constant  intercourse 
thus  maintained,  in  a  shallow  sound  (for  the  Albemarle 
has  but  a  few  fathoms  of  water)  cannot  be  without 
danger.  True,  "  the  season"  is  the  part  of  the  year 
least  hazardous  to  sailors  ;  but  there  occurs  sometimes, 
in  mid-summer  even,  a  violent  storm.  This,  in  a 
stanch  vessel,  in  the  open  sea,  were  a  matter  of  small 
moment ;  but  with  shoals  on  every  hand,  the  coast 
scantily  lighted,  and  with  the  decks  cumbered  by  horses, 
carts,  and  furniture,  a  storm  may  be  a  thing  to  be 
dreaded  even  in  Albemarle  Sound. 


I  was  roused  from  my  slumbers  this  morning  by  the 
shouts  of  the  children,  oddly  contrasting  with  the  gruff 
bass  of  old  Jack,  who  had  come  for  a  chat  with  "Maussa 
John." 

"  The  packet's  come  !  mother  !  the  packet's  come  !" 

shouted  Y and  S .     "  Packet's  come  !"  echoed 

little  S ;  and  John  the  baby  (a  brave  little  fellow 

he  is,  too)  roared,  in  an  ecstasy  of  excitement,  "  Oo — oo 
— oo  !"     A  promiscuous  tumble   upon  the  stairs  was 

then  heard,  and  up  came  T and  F to  swell  the 

chorus. 

In  a  few  minutes,  the  boat  was  loosed  from  her  moor- 
ings, the  sail  set,  and  J was  on  his  way  to  the 

packet.  She  lay  quietly,  riding  at  single  anchor,  and 
gave  an  air  of  companionship  and  life  to  a  scene  which 
else  had  little  to  rob  it  of  its  accustomed  expression  of 

barrenness  and  solitude.     It  was  not  long  before  J 

had  returned,  and  the  tumult  recommenced. 

"Here's  a  letter  for  you,  papa!     And  there's  one 

for  you,  Mr.  Seaworthy  !"    "  Two  for  you,  sister  J !" 

"  Here's  some  tomatoes !  and  a  bag  of  apples — and  here's 


OZ  NAG  S  HEAD. 

a  box  of  clothes  for  you,  T !"    Such  were  some  of  the 

expressions  that  were  audible  in  the  momentary  din. 

"What  kind  of  a  passage  did  you  have?"  said  Mr. 
W to  old  Jack. 

"  Why,  tol'ble,  Maussa  John,  thank  ye ;  on'y  tol'ble. 
Eight  smart  chance  of  wind  off  Alligator*  last  night. 
Dark  as  burgoo.  Den  we  had  thunder  and  lightnin', 
and  de  rain — dey  aint  been  no  more  sich  sence  de 
Flood.  Ob  course,  youVe  read  all  'bout  dat,  Maussa 
John." 

"  Any  damage,  Jack?" 

"  No,  maussa;  leastways,  none  to  speak  of.  Dere 
was  one  young  lady's  bonnet  carried  away,  and  clumsy 
ole  Pete,  plague  take  de  fella !  trod  on  one  of  de  ban'- 
boxes  and  spilt  anoder.  But  de  top-hamper  and  de 
groun'-takle's  all  right,  and  as  long  as  dem  is  where  dey 
b'longs,  I  don't  care  for  de  small  damages.  De  Fox  has 
got  a  new  foresail  and  jib,  and  dem  aint  ben  guoin  to 
fetch  away  nohow." 


Such  were  my  notes  of  the  packets.  I  have  other, 
and  widely  different  associations  which  will  long  cause 
me  to  think  of  them  with  interest.     It  was  on  board 

the  little packet  that  I  left  a  home  which  a  very 

short  residence  had  made  dear  to  me.  My  fellow- 
passengers  were  personal  friends,  and  the  ordinary  and 
trivial  incidents  of  a  passage,  under  such  circumstances, 
are  eve?its  which  we  remember  with  pleasure. 

It  was  in  the  packets,  too,  that  I  had  seen,  one  after 
another,  well-nigh  all  the  familiar  faces  deserting  their 
summer  residences  for  the  quiet  and  other  comforts  of 

*  The  mouth  of  the  Alligator  River. 


THE  PACKETS.  83 

home.  Some  I  had  watched,  as  they  departed,  with 
the  sad  thought  that  it  was  scarcely  probable  that  I 
should  ever  meet  them  again.  One  of  the  gloomiest 
of  all  the  days  I  spent  at  Nag's  Head  was  that  on  which 
some  half  a  score  of  my  personal  friends  bade  us  good 
by.  On  the  preceding  evening,  C and  myself  ven- 
tured upon  the  singing  of  the  following 

SERENADE. 


The  parting  hour  is  almost  nigh, 
The  night  is  on  the  wane, 

And  weary  days  shall  pass  away 
Ere  we  shall  meet  again. 

ii. 

'•'  The  old  familiar  faces" 

Of  friends  we  hold  most  dear, 

"Will  haunt  us  in  our  lonely  hours 
For  many  a  coming  year. 


Farewell !  and  Heaven's  blessings, 

Like  Heaven's  dews,  descend 
On  you  and  yours,  while  happily 

Life's  journey  ye  shall  wend. 

IV. 

A  land  there  is  where  parting  hours 

Our  hearts  shall  fear  no  more ; 
And  friends,  long  gone  before  us  there, 

Shall  meet  us  on  the  shore. 

We  sang  the  stanzas  to  the  air  of  "Lucy  Neal." 
For  the  words,  they  are  of  little  interest  or  merit,  ex- 
cepting that  which  was  lent  them  by  the  occasion.  They 
may  possibly  meet  the  eye  of  some  to  whom  they  will 


84  nag's  head. 

bring  a  forgotten,  perhaps  a  pleasant,  incident  of  a  visit 
at  Nag's  Head. 

"  Going  off  to  the  packet,  Mr.  Seaworthy?"  said 
C ,  the  next  morning,  at  the  breakfast-table. 

"  Thank  you,  C ;  I  believe  I  am  scarcely  able 

to  do  so." 

"  You'd  better  go.  Bill,  put  the  saddle  on  old  Scip. 
Shall  I  have  a  horse  saddled  for  you,  Mr.  Seaworthy?" 

"  I  thank  you,  no." 

The  breakfast  was  scantily  honored.    Away  galloped 

C ;  away  went  the  doctor,  and  I  was  left  alone.     I 

crawled  rather  than  walked  to  the  nearest  sand-hill, 
and  looked  down  upon  the  sound.  There  lay  the  beau- 
tiful packet,  well-nigh  ready  for  her  departure.  Boats 
were  running  busily  to  and  fro.  There  was  a  little  knot 
of  gentlemen  at  the  wharf;  and  I  thought  I  could  see 
now  and  then  the  flutter  of  a  white  dress  among  them, 
which  went  far  to  explain  their  patient  tarrying  on  the 
shore. 

I  leaned  against  the  stake  of  a  half-buried  fence,  and 
gazed  until  the  packet  got  her  anchor.  As  I  have  seen 
an  albatross  lift  his  white  wings  in  the  snow  and  sleet  of 
Cape  Horn,  so  quietly  and  gracefully  did  the  little 
packet  spread  her  snow-white  canvass  for  her  de- 
parture. She  turned  her  head  coquettishly  away  from 
the  amorous  breeze  that  came  jauntily  and  with  lover- 
like impetuosity  from  the  sun-lighted  sea,  and  glided 
away  as  noiselessly  as  did  ever  fairy  from  her  hare-bell 
palace.  Right  valiantly  did  I  essay  a  cheerful  smile  as 
I  entered  the  house. 

"  They  are  gone!"  said  I,  as  I  made  the  effort;  but 
the  familiar  faces  and  tones,  and  remembered  looks, 


THE  WRECK.  85 

and  words,  and  songs,  came  "crowding  thickly  up;"  my 
lip  would  quiver,  and  I  sought  the  stillness  and  solitude 
of  my  little  chamber,  and  stifled,  in  grim  sternness,  the 
up-thronging  recollections.  There  was  a  long  entry  in 
my  journal  that  day,  my  dear  reader,  and — and — but, 
pardon  me !  you  are  not  my  father  confessor ;  nor  did 
I  by  any  means  "make  a  clean  breast  of  it"  to  my 
journal. 


CHAPTER  XII. 

THE  WRECK. 

"  0,  Mr.  Seaworthy,  there's  a  vessel  ashore." 

"Where?" 

"  Just  beyond  Jockey's  Ridge,  about  six  miles,  they 
say;   came  ashore  last  night.     She's  got  all  sorts  o' 

good  things  aboard;  and  Mr. and  Mr. ,  and 

Col. ,  and  I  don't  know  how  many  more,  have  gone 

up  to  see  her." 

"  Any  lives  lost?" 

"  JSTo,  they  all  got  safe  ashore ;  and  I  b'lieve  the 
cap'n's  at  the  hotel  now." 

Such  was  a  little  dialogue  between  a  charming  little 
girl  and  myself,  as  I  seated  myself,  this  evening,  at 
supper.  The  conversation  naturally  turned  upon  wrecks. 
Divers  tales  were  told  of  "hair-breadth  'scapes"  from  the 
perils  of  the  sea.  We  sat  long  at  the  table.  The  con- 
versation was  of  especial  interest  to  the  little  folk,  and 
8 


86  nag's  head. 

I  was  somewhat  suddenly  startled  by  one  of  them,  who 
said  to  me, 

"  0,  Mr.  Seaworthy,  you've  been  to  sea.  Why  can't 
you  tell  us  a  story?" 

*  Well,  S ,  a  story  you  shall  have.     Would  you 

just  as  lief  I  would  give  you  a  story  told  me  by  an  old 
shipmate  of  mine?" 

"  No;  indeed  I  wouldn't!" 

"  Well,  then,  one  of  my  own,  if  you  so  prefer  it; 
and,  to  give  it  the  first  name  I  think  of,  I  will  call  it 

THE  GRAVES;  OR,  A  WEEK  IN  THE  ICE." 

"  The  graves!  What  in  the  world  have  graves  to  do 
with  a  sea-story?" 

"  If  you  will  examine  the  chart  of  Massachusetts 
Bay,  you  will  see,  at  no  great  distance  from  Boston 
Light,  a  very  dangerous  reef." 

"  Such  a  reef  as  they  take  when  it  blows  too  hard, 
Mr.  Seaworthy?"  asked  one  of  the  youngsters. 

"  No,  my  dear;  but  a  very  dangerous  reef  of  rocks, 
on  which  many  a  brave  vessel  has  been  wrecked." 

"  Were  you  wrecked,  Mr.  Seaworthy?" 

"  That  is  just  what  I  am  going  to  tell  you  about. 
And  you  mustn't  interrupt  me  so,  or  I  shall  never  be 
able  to  tell  you  at  all.     Now  don't  pout  about  it." 


In  the  winter  of  184 — ,  I  had  occasion  to  go  from 
New  York  to  Frankfort,  in  Maine.  I  dreaded,  as  I 
always  do,  so  long  a  journey  in  the  cars;  and  I  am  free 
to  confess  that  I  did  not  quite  relish  the  idea  of  a  Feb- 
ruary voyage  between  the  two  ports.  And  yet  I  had  a 
sailor's  curiosity  to  see  something  of  the  New  England 


THE  WRECK.  87 

coast  in  winter.  I  had  heard  a  thousand  and  one 
stories  about  getting  "  iced-up,"  and  being  obliged  to 
run  off  into  the  Gulf*  to  thaw  out  the  running  rigging. 
I  had  heard,  too,  how  vessels  which  had  done  so,  and 
got  back  in  sight  of  Boston  Light,  had  been  caught  by 
"  a  nor'-wester,  right  in  the  teeth,"  and  been  forced  to 
repeat  the  experiment.  I  had  no  doubt  of  the  truth  of 
the  account ;  but,  for  one  reason  or  other,  I  had  a  de- 
sire to  see  for  myself.  I  had  been  four  times  off  Cape 
Horn,  and  had  heard  old  seamen  say  that  the  Cape  was 
not  half  so  much  to  be  dreaded  as  the  Yankee  coast  in 
midwinter. 

A  brisk  walk  to  Whitehall,  and  among  the  piers, 
enabled  me  to  secure  a  passage  in  the  good  schooner 
Jaxe,  which,  the  advertisement  said,  would  "  have  dis- 
patch." The  captain,  a  slightly-formed  but  resolute 
young  man,  at  first  objected  to  taking  a  passenger. 

U  The  fact  is,  you  see,"  said  he,  "it  is  colder'n  Kam- 

schatka,  a  d n  sight.    My  crew  is  made  up  of  Maine 

boys  who  know  their  places,  and  I  ain't  a  goin'  to  make 
'em  live  for'ard  such  weather  as  this.  We  all  live  aft, 
and  if  you  go,  you'll  have  to  rough  it  out  as  we  do." 

I  expressed  my  readiness  to  accept  the  plainest  ac- 
commodations, observing  that  I  had  been  at  sea,  and 
was  not  likely  to  be  taken  by  surprise  in  regard  to  the 
accommodations.  At  an  early  hour  the  next  morning, 
I  had  my  baggage  on  board.  It  was  decided  that  we 
could  not  get  away  that  day.  Dressing,  therefore,  in 
the  most  venerable  suit  I  could  find,  I  went  on  deck, 
and  spent  the  greater  part  of  the  day  in  helping  Mr. 
Mastcoat,  the  mate,  and  the  crew,  in  getting  the  vessel . 

*  The  common  appellation  given  by  sailors  to  the  Gulf  Stream. 


88  nag's  head. 

ready  for  sea.  There  was  the  jib-boom  to  rig  out,  a 
sail  or  two  to  bend,  and  divers  other  little  jobs  that  oc- 
cupied the  entire  day.  Meanwhile,  the  captain  had 
"cleared"  at  the  custom-house,  and  about  eight  o'clock 
the  next  morning  we  were  under  way  with  the  pilot  on 
board. 

We  had  everything  set,  except  stu'n'sails;  and  we 
were  soon  through  Hell-Gate,  bounding  along  with  a 
smacking  breeze  a  full  point  abaft  the  beam.  The  pilot 
left  us,  and  the  wind  partially  died  away.  As  the  day 
waned,  however,  it  freshened  again  from  the  north-west, 
and  the  weather  grew  bitterly  cold.  During  the  day, 
rather  than  stay  below  I  remained  on  deck,  and  stood 
for  an  hour  or  two  at  the  wheel.  Feeling  somewhat 
fatigued,  I  went  below  a  little  after  nightfall,  and 
turned  in  for  the  night,  saying  to  Captain  Carline,  as 
I  did  so, 

"  If  I  can  be  of  service  to  you,  give  me  a  call." 

"  Thank  you,"  was  the  reply,  and  in  a  few  minutes 
J  was  in  the  land  of  dreams.  I  slept  long  and  soundly. 
It  was,  perhaps,  three  o'clock  the  next  morning  that 
Amos  came  to  me,  and  said,  in  his  low,  musical  tones, 

"  Mr.  Seaworthy,  if  you  please,  you  may  give  us  a 
lift.  It's  blowing  hard,  and  we  want  to  get  some  of  the 
canvass  off  her.  Captain  says  that  if  you'll  take  the 
wheel,  he'll  go  aloft  with  us  and  get  another  reef  in 
the  topsail." 

I  dressed  hastily  and  went  on  deck.  Before  us,  in 
plain  sight,  were  the  white  cliffs  of  Gay  Head.  The 
moon  was  at  the  full — not  a  cloud  to  be  seen — and  the 
night  was  bitterly  cold.  A  palsy-like  shiver  came  over 
me  as  I  took  the  wheel. 


THE  WRECK.  89 

"  Keep  her  as  she  goes,  if  you  please,"  said  Captain 
Carline,  as  he  gave  me  the  wheel. 

"  A j,  ay,  sir,"  replied  I,  mechanically;  and  I  saw  him 
spring  lightly  into  the  rigging.  A  moment  more  and  I 
heard  his  clear,  hearty,  ringing  voice  as  he  shouted, 

"  Haul  out  to  leeward !" 

My  berth  at  the  wheel  was  no  sinecure.  The  topsail- 
yard  was  on  the  cap,  and  the  yard  braced  sharp  to  the 
wind,  which  had  hauled  aft  so  far  that  the  schooner 
yaived  fearfully  in  spite  of  my  best  efforts.  By  watch- 
ing her  closely,  however,  I  managed  to  acquit  myself 
creditably.  Our  fore  and  aft  sails  were  now  lowered, 
reefed,  and  set  again,  and  the  Jane  "behaved  better." 

We  were  soon  under  the  lee  of  N-aushon  and  in 
smooth  water.  There  was  a  little  fleet  of  small  craft  in 
Tarpaulin  Cove,  which  had  been  more  fortunate  than 
we  in  making  a  snug  harbor.  It  was  but  a  short  time, 
however,  before  we  reached  Holmes'  Hole.  We  an- 
chored just  at  daybreak,  having  made  the  passage 
from  New  York  in  about  twenty  hours. 

The  wind  grew  more  moderate  towards  noon,  and  the 
bumboats  came  off  to  us  with  pies  and  milk.  Mr.  Mast- 
coat,  the  mate,  offered  to  take  his  "  'fi-davy"  that  the 
pies  were  mince-pies;  and  that,  if  they  ivere  of  that 
description,  he,  for  one,  was  not  enough  of  a  Society 
Islander  to  relish  dog,  "kowsomever  hashed  up."  After 
such  a  remark,  no  one  was  disposed  to  buy  either  pies  or 
milk,  and  the  poor  bumboat-men  sought  a  market  in 
another  part  of  the  little  fleet  around  us. 

The  weather  continued  to  improve,  and  we  got  under 
way  with  a  light,  westerly  breeze,  heading  for  Cape 
Cod.  At  noon,  it  fell  calm;  but  before  we  were  fairly 
up  with  the   Cape,  we   were    most   unexpectedly,  and 

8* 


90  nag's  head. 

certainly  very  unwelcoruely,  greeted  with  a  cold,  raw, 
searching  north-easter.  As  a  north-east  wind  on  the 
New  England  coast  is,  in  the  winter  months,  usually 
accompanied  with  snow,  Captain  Carline  did  not  think 
it  prudent  to  remain  outside,  and  decided  to  run  into 
some  harhor.     Mr.  Mastcoat  suggested  Provincetown. 

"  Have  you  ever  been  into  that  harbor,  Mr.  Mast- 
coat?"  said  the  captain. 

"  Yes,  indeed,  sir;  four  or  five  times." 

"  Can  you  pilot  the  Jane  in  there?" 

"  Yes,  sir ;  I  think  I  jfcift,  if  anybody  km.19 

"  Put  her  away,  then." 

"  AJ>  ay,  sir." 

"  So!  steady  as  you  go!" 

"  Steady  as  you  go,  sir!" 

It  was  night,  and  the  lights  were  blazing  before  we 
had  reached  even  the  roadstead  or  outer  harbor.  Mr. 
Mastcoat's  memory  was  at  fault.  The  lights  confused 
him,  and  he  was  reluctantly  obliged  to  confess  that  he 
"  didn't  'zackly  knoiv  which  was  which!"  As  the  cap- 
tain had  depended  on  him  as  a  pilot,  he  was  very 
naturally  angry. 

"  Wal,"  said  he,  "  i~can  find  the  way  into  the  bloody 
harbor,  if  you  can't!  When  I  go  into  port,  I  al'ays 
notice  things  so  as  I  can  go  in  there  ag'in.  I've  got  a 
chart  of  the  hole,  thank  fortin';  and  I  could  take  the 
Jane  to  h — 11  if  I  had  a  chart  ont!" 

We  were  happy  to  find  ourselves,  about  ten  o'clock, 
safely  anchored  in  the  harbor  at  Provincetown. 

"  How's  the  wind?"  asked  Captain  Carline,  as  he  lay 
in  his  berth  the  next  morning. 

"  'Bout  nothe-east,  sir,"  replied  the  mate,  who  had 
just  been  on  deck. 


THE  WRECK.  91 

"  No  gittin'  away  from  Provincetown  to-day,  then, 
unless  we  run  into  Boston.    Blowin'  any  this  mornin'?" 

"  Blows  fresh,  sir." 

It  was  on  Monday  night  that  we  anchored.  Tuesday 
passed,  and  Wednesday  came,  and  the  wind  was  still 
from  the  north-east.  I  can,  even  now,  recall  the  scene 
of  that  morning  on  board  the  schooner.  Captain  Car- 
line  was  sitting  in  the  door-way  of  his  state-room  read- 
ing. Mr.  Mastcoat  sat  on  the  transom;  the  cabin-boy 
Jim  was  sweeping  the  ashes  from  the  stove-hearth, 
puffing  like  a  porpoise  withal.  Ben  and  Amos  had  been 
on  deck  making  an  oak  snatch  for  the  ring-stopper,  and 
came  below  with  the  comfortable  assurance  that  there 
was  no  change  in  the  weather,  and  that  there  was  no 
hope  of  anything  better  until  the  change  of  the  moon. 

Time  wore  slowly  away.  We  went  ashore,  and 
roamed  about  the  street  (for  the  town  has  but  one  worth 
the  name)  of  Provincetown,  amusing  ourselves  with  the 
frolics  of  the  children  and  the  curiosities  of  the  show 
windows.  For  myself,  I  remember  debating,  as  I  saw  a 
bevy  of  young  ladies  pass,  with  cheeks  and  eyes  whose 
freshness  and  brilliancy  I  have  by  no  means  yet  forgot- 
ten, the  expediency  of  becoming  a  resident  of  the 
Cape.  There  was  a  field  for  me  to  win  immortal 
fame.  Couldn't  I  discover  some  process  of  fertilizing 
the  sand-hills?  If  I  could,  wouldn't  it  make  my  for- 
tune? And,  with  a  fortune,  and  a  veil  and  hood  (with 
their  proprietress,  such  a  one  as  I  had  there  seen),  what 
else  could  the  world  give  me  ?  Could  I  not  write,  as 
wrote  Gil  Blas,  over  the  door  of  my  cottage, 

"  Spes,  et  Fortuna!  valete! 
Sat  me  Jusistis;  nunc  hi  elite  alios?" 


92  nag's  head. 

Thursday  passed  without  any  change  in  the  weather; 
but  on  Friday  morning  we  got  our  anchor  at  the  dawn 
of  day.  The  day  was  clear  and  sunny;  but  there  was 
a  frosty  rawness  and  chilliness  in  the  air  that  made  it 
necessary  for  us  to  "  bundle  up,"  and  to  thump  our 
hands  and  feet  to  keep  them  above  the  freezing  point. 
The  wind,  contrary  to  our  expectations,  was  light  and 
baffling,  and  at  two  o'clock  Race  Point  was  not  far  off 
on  our  lee  quarter. 

I  retreated  from  the  deck,  and,  on  going  below, 
amused  myself  by  taking  a  general  survey  of  the  little 
cabin.  Captain  Carline  was  lounging  on  the  transom. 
Amos  was  fortifying  himself  with  an  extra  jacket.  The 
rudder  was  creaking  on  its  pintles,  and  thumping  mo- 
notonously against  the  casing.  The  sunlight  flashed  up 
from  the  ripples  in  our  wake,  as  the  schooner  pitched 
lazily  on  the  low  swell.  The  little  cylinder  stove  was 
red  with  the  blazing  coal,  and  we  bade  defiance  to  the 
cold.  The  wood  work  of  the  cabin  was  of  brownish 
red,  with  paneling  in  imitation  of  maple.  A  little 
table  stood  against  the  bulkhead,  with  a  reddish  cover 
that  would  have  been  all  the  better  for  the  humane 
offices  of  the  laundress.  Underneath  it  was  a  trunk, 
and  over  it,  on  a  nail,  hung  a  depopulated  castor;  the 
pepper  and  vinegar  alone  surviving  of  all  the  family 
circle.  Near  it  hung  the  captain's  watch.  On  the  tran- 
som, fastened  to  the  rudder  casing,  was  a  looking-glass 
which  gave  me  a  villainous  presentiment  that  I  can  never 
forgive  to  my  dying  day.  In  front  of  it  lay  a  pack  of 
cards.  Around  it  were  a  spare  compass,  a  Bible,  the 
Kedge- Anchor,  the  American  First  Glass-Book,  Blunt's 
Coast  Pilot,  and  the  Cruise  of  the  Midge;  and  between 
the  carlines,  on  a  marline  netting,  hung  divers  charts. 


THE  WRECK.  93 

Towards  night  the  wind  hauled  to  the  north,  and  the 
weather  grew  bitterly  cold.  No  exertions  on  deck  were 
sufficient  to  keep  up  a  comfortable  temperature  ;  and, 
having  been  there  nearly  all  day,  I  went  below  and 
turned  in,  saying  to  the  captain,  however,  that  he  might 
call  me  at  any  time  when  he  might  need  my  assistance. 

About  midnight,  Amos  came  to  my  little  state-room, 
and,  in  his  mild,  musical  tones,  awoke  me  at  a  single 
call.  I  had  not  slept  an  hour,  and  very  much  pre- 
ferred remaining  in  my  berth ;  but  remembering  what  I 
had  said  to  the  captain,  I  turned  out,  dressed  as  hastily 
as  possible,  and  went  on  deck.  We  were  off  Boston 
Light,  and  not  a  great  way  from  "  The  Graves  !" 

"Bless  me!  what  a  dismal  name  for  a  reef!"  ex- 
claimed S . 

I  looked  aloft  as  I  stepped  from  the  companion-way. 
The  fore-topgallant  sail  hung  in  the  brails,  and  the  main- 
topmast  staysail  was  flapping  in  the  cross-trees,  with  a 
noise  that  made  me  very  decidedly  desirous  to  see  it  snugly 
stowed.  The  schooner  was  plunging  and  pitching  hea- 
vily under  a  press  of  canvass,  and  the  cold — ugh  !  it 
makes  me  shudder  now  to  think  of  it.  To  fill  our  cup 
of  discomforts,  the  snow  came  driving  in  our  faces. 
Captain  Carline  begged  me  to  take  the  wheel  while  the 
people  were  taking  in  sail ;  and,  although  I  was  there 
but  a  few  minutes,  my  hands  and  feet  were  aching  with 
cold  when  he  came  back  and  relieved  me. 

We  had  got,  as  we  supposed,  the  weather-gage  of 
"  The  Graves,"  and  the  captain  bore  away  gradually 
for  Long  Island  Light.  Not  quite  satisfied,  however, 
in  this  regard,  and  not  caring  to  make  any  very  inti- 
mate acquaintance  with  such  a  reef  and  on  such  a 
night,  he  hauled  by  the  wind  and  stood  on  until  both 


94  nag's  head. 

lie  and  the  mate  were  satisfied  that  they  might  safely 
bear  away  for  Long  Island  Light.  He  did  so.  He  was 
at  the  wheel ;  and,  to  shelter  myself  from  the  piercing 
wind,  I  went  into  the  waist  and  leaned  against  the 
weather-rail. 

"Keep  a  bright  look-out  ahead,  Mr.  Mastcoat,"  said 
Captain  Carline. 

"  A7>  aJ>  sir-" 

"Look  out  therein  the  waist,  too.  D'ye  see  any- 
thing of  the  reef,  Ben  ?"    — 

"  Yes  sir ;  think  I  do  ;  showin'  his  teeth  a  little  ways 
under  our  lee,  sir  !" 

It  was  even  so.  But  a  few  rods  from  the  schooner 
the  waves  were  breaking  over  the  low  rocks,  the  white 
foam  looking,  in  the  darkness,  like  the  teeth  of  some 
snarling  cur,  dying  to  vent  his  spleen  on  some  object 
which  might  feel  his  fangs. 

"Keep  a  bright  look-out,  all  hands!"  shouted  the 
captain. 

I  turned  from  the  prospect  under  the  lee,  and  looked 
over  the  weather-rail.  Merciful  Heaven  !  There,  not 
three  fathoms  from  the  schooner,  in  the  midst  of  the 
foam,  was  a  jagged  mass  of  rocks.  They  formed  an 
outer  spur  of  the  main  reef,  and  we  were  passing 
through  a  narrow  channel  where  we  would  have  little 
cared  to  be  in  the  day-time,  and  in  the  best  of  weather. 
I  was  about  to  apprize  Captain  Carline  of  our  danger, 
when  Ben  caught  my  arm,  and  said,  in  a  whisper, 

"Don't  say  a  word!  The  danger's  past.  We're  in 
good  water  now." 

"  Are  you  sure  of  it  ?" 

"  Sure  of  it  ?     Yes  ;  I've  been  through  here  before." 


THE  WRECK.  95 

"  Luff  a  little,  sir  !  there's  a  schooner  right  ashead  of 
us,"  said  the  mate. 

The  vessel  was  but  a  little  way  ahead  of  us,  and,  as 
we  were  keeping  away  more  than  she,  we  were  soon 
abreast  of  her.  A  change  in  our  course  again  brought 
us  in  her  wake,  and  we  were  dashing  along  at  a  furious 
rate,  when  her  captain  shouted, 

"  Hard  doivn !  hard  down  with  your  helm ! 
Quick  !  or  you'll  be  afoul  of  us  !     There's  ice  ahead!" 

We  almost  grazed  her  davits  as  we  passed  her.  A 
low,  though  harsh,  rumbling,  grating  sound  now  greeted 
our  ears;  our  headway  was  very  sensibly  diminished, 
and  in  ten  minutes  we  were  stationary  in  the  ice,  mid- 
way in  the  channel,  and  just  abreast  of  Long  Island 
Light.  As  I  had  slept  a  little,  and  the  captain  and 
crew  had  been  on  deck  since  nightfall,  I  offered  to  re- 
main on  deck  until  daybreak.  The  wind  freshened 
until  about  four  o'clock,  when  I  called  the  steward,  and 
with  his  assistance  stowed  the  jib,  lowered  the  mainsail, 
settled  the  topsail  on  the  cap,  and  hauled  out  the  reef- 
tackles.  Thus  passed  our  first  night  in  the  ice.  "We 
scarcely  changed  our  position  during  the  night.  When 
day  dawned,  we  discovered  several  vessels  in  the  same 
unenviable  quarters  as  ourselves.  Quite  near  us  was  the 
schooner  we  were  so  near  running  afoul  of  a  few  hours 
before,  and  an  English  brig. 

During  the  day  we  drifted  a  little  with  the  ice,  and 
in  the  following  night,  which  happened  to  be  Saturday 
night,  we  succeeded  in  getting  the  Jane  out  of  the  chan- 
nel into  a  bay  on  the  north  side  of  Long  Island. 

It  was  not  until  the  next  Thursday  that  we  escaped. 
We  had,  meantime,  been  as  miserable  as  it  then  seemed 
possible  for  us  to  be.     Ben  and  I  had  gone  ashore  on 


96  nag's  head. 

the  ice.  We  had  dug  clams  and  made  a  chowder.  We 
had  lowered  the  boat  and  tried  to  break  out  of  the  ice. 
All  in  vain,  until  about  midnight  on  Wednesday  night, 
the  ice  left  us  free.  In  the  morning  we  made  sail,  and 
ran  up  near  the  city ;  and  there  we  had  the  pleasure  of 
waiting  a  week  for  a  change  of  wind.  Indeed,  it  was 
a  pleasure,  for  Captain  Carline  went  with  me  to  see 
Warren  and  Smith  in  "  Old  Job  and  Jacob  Gray  ;"  and 
Mrs.  Barrett  as  "Julia,"  and  Miss  Gann  as  Helen,  in 
"  The  Hunchback." 

"  But  didn't  you  go  Frankfort,  after  all?" 

"Yes." 

"Well,  then,  tell  us  the  rest,  won't  you?" 

"  Some  other  evening.  Meanwhile,  sing  me  i  The 
Land  of  the  West,'  and  I'll  bid  you  good  night." 

We  sang  it  in  chorus  ;  and  I  awoke,  a  little  past  mid- 
night, in  an  attempt  to  sing 

"  Then  come  there  with  me,  'tis  the  land  I  love  best, 
;Tis  the  home  of  my  sires,  His  my  own  darling  West." 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

nag's  head — AS  it  was  and  is. 

"  Those  good  old  days  ! 
All  days,  when  old  are  good/7 

says  Byron;  and  if  I  may  credit  half  of  what  I  hear  of 
Nag's  Head  in  the  olden  time,  there  must,  indeed,  have 
been  happy  hearts  and  homes  there.   It  was  all  a  forest 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  97 

then.  There  were  but  three  families  who  had  built 
summer  residences  there,  and  were  accustomed  to  re- 
move there  with  their  families.  The  headland  then  bore 
some  resemblance,  in  the  sea-approach,  to  the  head  of  a 
horse,  and  hence  its  name.  The  days  were  spent  in 
hunting,  fishing,  riding,  and  other  amusements.  The 
three  families  were  as  one  in  the  interchange  of  kind- 
offices. 

This  primitive  character,  and  absence  of  the  restraints 
of  fashionable  life,  together  with  the  zest  of  novelty, 
wore  gradually  away.  Dwellings  sprang  up,  as  sud- 
denly, almost,  as  palaces  in  the  Arabian  Nights.  It 
was  asserted  that  he  who  cared  to  escape  the  accus- 
tomed attack  of  "the  bilious"  had  but  to  go  to  Nag's 
Head,  and  that  with  a  supply  of  Parr's  pills  one  might 
there  survive  his  wish  to  live. 

The  resort  was  soon  thronged.  A  hotel  was  built,  and 
a  chapel.  Roads  were  cut  through  the  woods,  and 
among  what  the  bankers  call  "the  up-guoines"  (sand- 
hills). The  song  and  the  dance ;  the  fox-hunt,  the 
bowling-alley,  and  the  delicious  fish  were  powerful  re- 
commendations, and  Nag's  Head  became  but  another 
name  for  happiness.  Lovers  walked  on  the  sea-shore. 
Doctors  practiced  without  fees.  It  was  respectable  to 
be  seen  in  homespun. 

"  It  aint  as't  used  to  be,  nohow  /"  said  old  Jack  to  me 
one  day,  when  we  had  been  conversing  a  long  while  to- 
gether. "  Mebee  it's  because  I'm  gittin  along  in 
years  that  things  seem  so  much  altered  like.  That's  it 
partly,  I  do  s'pose.  But  den,  ye  see,  massa,  dey  use  to 
go  ebery  evenin'  to  the  beach — eb'rybody.  Now  dey 
does  nuffin  but  dance  at  White's.  Den  de  most  respec'- 
blest  people" — Jack  loved  a  large  word — "  used  to  wear 
9 


98  nag's  head. 

the  oldest  and  worsest  clothes  dey  had.  Now  dey  is 
gittin  as  fashionable  as  dey  is  in  Baltimore." 

I  afterward  visited  the  place  where  the  original  set- 
tlement was  made.  Tor  acres  around,  there  was  not  a 
single  shrub  or  spire  of  grass.  The  three  hills  on  which 
the  dwellings  stood  were  strewn  with  bricks,  half  covered 
with  the  mortar,  which  had  become  as  hard  as  them- 
selves. Among  them  were  some  fragments  of  bottles, 
and  divers  piles  of  oyster-shells,  among  which  Jonathan 
Oldbuck  might  have  discovered  more  antiquities  than  in 
his  fertile  Kaim  of  Kinprunes  ;  and  which,  I  confess, 
were  somewhat  suggestive  of  scenes  of  sharp  appetites, 
ruddy  cheeks,  and  good  fare.  All  around  me  had  been  a 
beautiful  forest ;  and  lo  !  in  its  place  I  beheld  some  scores 
of  the  tops,  merely  of  huge  oaks,  and  cedars  which  had 
yielded  to  the  little  grains  of  sand,  whose  coquettish 
frolics  with  the  winds  they  had  complacently  looked 
down  upon,  or  whose  gadding  propensities,  as  manifested 
in  wandering  from  sea  to  sound,  they  had  gravely  and 
sternly  rebuked. 

As  I  sat  on  the  fragment  of  a  decayed  door-sill,  my 
friend  Dr.  C approached. 

"  You  were  one  of  the  original  settlers  here,  I  be- 
lieve, doctor." 

"No,  sir.  My  father  is  better  entitled  to  that  title, 
if  it  may  properly  be  conferred  on  anybody  who  spends 
two  months  on  a  sand-hill !" 

"  What's  in  the  wind,  doctor  ?  You  don't  seem  to  be 
particularly  pleased  with  Nag's  Head." 

"  How  should  I  ?  I  have  almost  broken  my  neck  to- 
day in  a  fox-hunt.  I  lamed  my  best  horse  at  the  same 
time  in  the  quicksands.  I  went  to  the  Fresh  Ponds  on 
a  pic-nic  the  day  before  yesterday,  and  on  that  inte- 


nag's  head— as  it  was  and  is.  99 

resting  occasion  I  tore  a  lady's  dress  in  extricating  my 
fish-hook  from  it  (for  you  must  know,  fishing  is  a  sine 
qua  non  in  a  pic-nic  at  the  Fresh  Ponds),  stuck  another 
in  her  finger  in  getting  a  perch  off  her  hook ;  and,  as  a 
grand  finale,  I  fell  into  the  pond.     Don't  laugh  at  me  ! 

Dam that  is  to  say,  it  was  a  melancholy  disaster, 

Mr.  Seaworthy." 

"  Very,"  said  I,  gravely. 

"  The  next  day  I  went  on  a  fishing  excursion,  almost 
to  the  inlet.     We  forgot  to  carry  water,  and  it  was  as 

hot   as as  hot  as  blazes.     We  expected  to  return 

to  dinner,  and  we  took  no  provisions.  We  had  a  thunder- 
squall  just  at  night,  and  we  were  obliged  to  row  and 
pole  the  old  tub  of  a  boat  four  miles,  geographic  or  Irish 
measure,  in  such  a  rain  as,  I'll  make  affirmation,  has 
never  been  since  that  remarkably  long  rain  I  used  to 
read  about  in  the  Bible." 

"  The  deluge  ?" 

"Yes." 

"  I  hope  you  read  that  best  of  books  still,  doctor." 

"Yes,  sir,  but  not  here.  I  defy  any  man  to  do  it. 
I'm  in  a  tearing  passion  from  the  time  I  come  here  till 
I  go  away.  I  hate  the  wind,  eternally  blowing  off  my 
hat — might  wear  a  cap,  I  s'pose,  but  I  hate  a  cap.  I 
hate  the  good-for-nothing  servants,  who  need  an  hour  to 
black  your  boots,  and  who  always  obey  the  last  order. 
There's  our  Tom,  now.  I  sent  him  the  other  day  to 
"White's  for  a  package.  My  father  saw  him  on  the  way, 
and  without  knowing  the  boy's  errand — for  the  dolt 
would  never  tell  him,  if  he  lived  to  the  age  of  the  pa- 
triarchs— sent  him  for  some  soft  crabs.  As  fortune 
would  have  it,  my  sister  was  coming  home  from  an  ex- 
cursion to  the  Fresh  Ponds,  and  sent  him  there  to  bring 


100  nag's  head. 

home  her  fan  which  she  had  left  in  a  tree,  under  which 
we  had  eaten  our  dinner.  And  he  went  after  the  fan  ! 
I  hate  the  traveling  in  the  sand,  in  which  you  sink  to 
the  ankles.  I  hate  the  naked  glaring  hills.  In  fact,  I 
don't  like  the  State." 

"I  thought  everybody  liked  the  old  North  State. 
Don't  you  remember  the  song  we  heard  at  Madame 
's  the  other  evening  ? 

Oh,  her  sons  are  brave,  her  daughters  fair, 
The  old  North  State  ; 

And  dust  of  heroes  slumbers  there, 
The  old  North  State  ! 

The  birds  that  sing,  the  flowers  of  spring, 

Or  June,  or  Autumn  late — 

Oh!  there's  ne'er  a  land  so  dear  to  me, 
The  old  North  State. 

II. 

Though  the  lands  of  other  climes  be  fair, 

The  old  North  State 
Hath  scenes  as  beautiful  and  rare, 

The  old  North  State. 
'Tis  there  the  exile,  doomed  to  roam, 
Forgets  the  wanderer's  fate 
Within  a  Carolina  home, 

The  old  North  State  ! 

III. 

Then  peace  within  her  borders  be, 

The  old  North  State  ; 

"With  freedom  and  prosperity, 

The  old  North  State. 

And  if,  in  coming  years,  we're  doomed 

To  part,  or  soon  or  late, 

I'll  treasure  in  my  heart  of  hearts 

The  old  North  State." 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  101 

"  All  very  well  in  its  way,  Mr.  Seaworthy ;  and  Miss 

sung  it  admirably ;    though  the    air  of   '  Loves 

Young  Dream  is  one  I  don't  particularly  admire,  and 
the  words  themselves  are  only  so  so.  All  the  songs  in 
the  world  wouldn't  make  me  like  the  State." 

"  You're  a  native  ?" 

"  Not  I !  and  I'm  glad  of  it.  I  have  tried  to  like  it, 
but  it's  out  of  the  question.  I  don't  like  the  east  winds 
that  blow  with  the  constancy  and  regularity  of  the 
trades.  I  don't  like  '  the  bilious,'  which  drags  a  man  to 
death's  door  every  summer,  unless  he  suffers  martyrdom 
and  fresh  fish  down  here.  I  don't  like  the  detestable 
chills  on  which  they  raise  their  children,  and  which  steal 
on  you  so  slyly  that  you're  an  hour  in  coming  to  the  dole- 
ful conclusion  that  you  have  got  it.  And  I  might  add 
what  I  heard  old  Jimmy  Dyer  say  yesterday,  '  the  State 
contains  an  awful  quantity  of  poor  sperits  /' ' 

"  You  say  you  are  not  a  native?" 

"  Yes.  We  are  from  Maryland — some  years  ago, 
however  ;  and  from  one  of  the  most  beautiful  nooks 
within  its  borders — one  of  those  beautiful  valleys  that 
seem  to  nestle  so  affectionately  to  the  side  of  the  Ca- 
toctin  Ridge." 

"  Why  not  return  there?" 

"  Why,  indeed!  thereby  hangs  a  tale." 

"  Enlighten  me." 

"  With  pleasure.  But  suppose  we  walk  to  the  old 
oak  yonder,  with  the  vine  over  it,  and  seat  ourselves  in 
the  shade." 

A  walk  of  a  furlong  brought  us  to  the  spot. 

"  We  came  to  North  Carolina  in  '41;  the  year  after 
Harrison's  campaign,  you  remember.  Until  that  time, 
living,   as   I   did,  so   far  from   this  State,  and  having 


102  nag's  head. 

nothing  to  call  my  attention  particularly  to  it,  I  knew 
almost  nothing  about  it.  I  had  heard  my  Virginia 
friends  tell  some  rather  amusing  stories  about  it.  I  had 
read  in  the  geography  that  the  country,  for  more  than 
sixty  miles  from  the  coast,  was  a  low,  sandy  plain,  full 
of  swamps;  and  that  the  dry  districts  among  them  were 
covered  with  pine  forests,  which  produced  tar,  pitch, 
and  turpentine,  rosin  and  lumber,  in  great  abundance. 
I  had  also  an  indistinct  idea  of  a  very  high  mountain 
in  the  western  part,  and  had  read,  occasionally,  the 
newspaper  accounts  of  the  gold  mines.  This,  with  some 
little  recollection  of  the  history  of  the  State,  as  written, 
and  ably  too,  by  Williamson,  was  all  I  knew  of  the  land 
which  has  become  my  home. 

"  When  I  left  Pleasant  Valley  for  my  college-course  at 
Cambridge,  at  the  age  of  seventeen,  I  left  one  of  the 
loveliest,  most  bewitching,  most " 

"  So  there  was  a  lady  in  the  case?" 

"  Of  course  there  was;  for  I'd  be  obliged  to  you,  Mr. 
Bachelor  Seaworthy,  if  you  would  be  so  good  as  to  tell 
me  in  which  and  how  many  of  the  cases  that  make  up 
our  ephemeral  existence  there  zsw'£alady!"  replied  the 
doctor,  with  considerable  emphasis.  "I  was  about  to  say 
that,  dear  to  me  as  was  every  rock  of  the  hills  and  every 
clod  of  the  valley,  as  my  home,  it  was  a  thousand  fold 
dearer  to  me  as  the  home  of  Kent  Robinson.  She 
was — but  come  and  take  tea  with  me  to-morrow.  You 
would  not  believe  me  if  I  were  to  tell  you  what  she  was, 
without  having  seen  her  as  she  is.  And  let  me,  by  way 
of  parenthesis,  here  protest  against  your  unsocial  habits; 
for  our  domicil  has  not  been  honored  with  your  pre- 
sence. 

"  I  spare  you  a  thousand  details  of  the  years  that  I 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  103 

spent  at  Cambridge.  My  vacations  were  spent  at  home, 
and  with  her.  We  galloped  the  country  over ;  now  to 
Harper's  Ferry ;  then  to  surrounding  hills ;  then  across  the 
ridges  towards  Shepherdstown,  following  the  windings 
of  our  own  beautiful  Potomac  on  our  way  homeward. 

"  Will  you  believe  it?  Though  she  had  been  my 
playmate  from  early  youth,  I  had  never  the  courage  to 
utter  what  was  ever  hovering  at  my  lips. 

'  Day  succeeded  day, 
Each  fraught  with  the  same  innocent  delights, 
Without  one  shock  to  ruffle  the  disguise' 

of  brotherly  regard.  When,  at  the  close  of  my  acade- 
mic career,  I  returned  to  the  Valley  for  a  two  months' 
respite,  I  had  still  left  my  thoughts  and  purposes,  my 
absorbing  love  for  her,  unspoken.  My  profession  I  had 
already  chosen ;  and  at  the  close  of  my  holidays  I  had 
already  made  arrangements  with  Dr.  ,  of  Balti- 
more, to  enter  his  office  as  a  student.  The  weeks  flew 
by  like  a  dream,  and,  ere  I  was  aware  of  it,  the  last 
week  of  my  visit  was  on  the  wane.  I  remember,  as  if  it 
were  yesterday,  the  few  days  that  remained.  It  was 
Thursday  of  that  week  that  we  varied  the  course  of  our 
customary  gallop  (for  we  scarcely  ever  rode  in  any  other 
way)  and  rode  up  the  valley. 

"  November  was  half  gone,  and  the  Indian  summer  had 
clothed  hill  and  valley  in  a  sombre  beauty  that  I  loved 
better  than  the  gorgeousness  of  June.  Never  had  I 
seen  the  forests  so  beautifully  arrayed  in  their  many- 
colored  drapery.  The  stillness,  the  leaf-strown  path- 
ways, the  curling  smoke  from  distant  chimneys,  the 
1  golden  haziness'  of  the  atmosphere — all  were  full  of 
beauty,  and,  with  Kent  by  my  side,  you  have  no  need 


104  nag's  head. 

of  special  revelation  to  assure  you  that  I  was  happy. 
Was  it  thus  that  Willis  expressed  it — 

'  0  God,  I  have  enough  !' 

I  am  sorry  I've  forgotten  it,  for  it's  a  gem.  Such 
was  my  own  feeling  for  a  moment;  but  the  next  instant 
changed  the  current.  Did  she  love  me?  A  score  of 
times  was  the  avowal  on  my  lips,  when  a  question,  or  a 
laugh,  or  some  object  by  the  wayside  arrested  it;  and 
when  we  reached  home  the  words  were  not  yet  uttered. 

"  At  the  foot  of  the  mountain,  but  half  a  mile  distant 
from  the  house,  was  a  spring  that  bubbled  from  beneath 
a  huge  rock,  and  which  we  were  accustomed  to  call  Rock 
Spring.  To  this,  as  the  shadows  were  lengthening,  we 
took  our  almost  customary  walk.  Saddened  by  the 
thought  of  my  approaching  departure,  I  was  taciturn 
and  abstracted,  and  was  more  than  once  laughed  at  for 
my  ludicrous  replies.  We  reached  the  spring.  A  tall 
maple,  whose  garniture  of  leaves  the  frost  had  changed 
to  a  robe  of  crimson,  stood  like  a  sentinel  at  the  foot 
of  the  rock.  Near  it  were  the  beech,  the  birch,  the 
hickory,  and,  here  and  there,  a  pine.  The  waters  of 
the  spring,  clear  as  the  heavens,  mirrored  the  hues 
above  it.  The  sun  was  no  longer  visible  to  us  ;  but  his 
sober  smile  still  played  on  hill,  and  wood,  and  field  on 
the  opposite  side  of  the  valley. 

"  It  was  one  of  the  ties  that  bound  me  to  Kent,  that 
she  sung  with  the  nicer  expressions  of  thought,  humor, 
and  feeling,  as  they  occur  in  a  song,  and  without  which 
a  song  is  but  a  grim  skeleton  instead  of  the  living,  beau- 
tiful, soul-animated  masterpiece  of  art  which  it  is  in 
the  hands  of  your  true  singer.     She  pointed  to  the  dis- 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  105 

tant  hills  tipped  with  golden  light,  and  sung,  as  she  did 
so,  the  beautiful  song  of  Lover's. 

1  0  come  to  the  West,  love;  0,  come  there  with  me, 
'Tis  the  sweet  land  of  verdure  that  springs  from  the  sea/ 

and  I  accompanied  her  with  the  bass.     The  song  ceased. 

"  '  The  old  day-wearied  sun'  had  gone  \  to  his  home 
in  the  West,'  and  we  were  yet  standing  on  the  rock. 
Kent  stood  looking  thoughtfully  on  the  gorgeous  sky 
far  away  in  the  south-west,  and  a  low  sigh  reached  my 
ear  as  she  replaced  the  light  bonnet  which  had  been 
lying  on  the  rock  at  her  feet. 

"  '  Time  for  us  to  go  home,  Paul,'  said  she,  hastily  ; 
"  but  I  must  have  a  score  of  those  beautiful  leaves  to 
carry  home  with  me;'  and,  reaching  out  her  hand  sud- 
denly, she  lost  her  balance.  Quick  as  the  lightning,  I 
grasped  her  arm. 

" '  Thank  God,  dear  Kent,  you  are  safe !'  The  death-like 
paleness  that  overspread  her  features,  and  the  slight 
stagger  as  she  regained  her  footing  might  have  excused 
an  older  head  than  mine  for  encircling  her  waist  with 
my  arm.  The  rubicon  was  passed.  A  few  low,  trem- 
bling words  told  the  long-treasured  secret.  The  little 
bonnet  somehow,  as  bonnets  will,  fell  back ;  and  when 
Kent's  eyes  next  met  mine,  there  was  in  them  a  light 
and  a  smile  that,  by  a  sort  of  free-masonry,  emboldened 
me  to  imprint  upon  her  lips  a  kiss  that  thrills  my  pulses 
even  now. 

"At  midnight  on  the  following  Sabbath,  I  had  said 
my  last  good  night.  I  retired  to  my  chamber  for  two 
or  three  hours,  but  not  to  sleep.  To  the  full  was  I 
happy.  It  was  not  yet  four  o'clock,  when  I  stepped 
into  the  carriage,  with  old  Sam  the  coachman  on  the 


106  nag's  head. 

boot,  and  in  five  minutes  jnore  I  was  on  the  road.  I 
caught  the  gleam  of  light  from  the  windows  as  we  as- 
cended a  small  hill;  but  it  was  only  for  a  moment,  and 
the  wood  which  we  were  entering  shut  it  wholly  from 
view. 

"I  arrived  safely  at  Baltimore,  and  entered  upon  my 
studies.  What  with  correspondence  and  occasional 
visits,  the  three  years  passed  happily  away.  I  took  my 
degree  with  credit,  and  was  delighted  to  receive  an  invi- 
tation from  my  father  to  accompany  him  on  a  trip  to 
the  North.  Kent,  he  said,  would  go  with  him,  and  he 
was  pleased  to  add  that  he  supposed  I  would  not  object 
to  the  arrangement. 

"  We  were  soon  on  our  way.  It  was  early  in  Septem- 
ber. The  season  was  well-nigh  over ;  but  never  have 
I  since  that  time,  enjoyed  half  the  pleasure  that  I  then 
experienced,  as  we  ascended  the  Hudson,  lingered  at 
Saratoga  and  Lake  George,  and  glided  along  the  roman- 
tic Champlain.  From  Burlington  we  traveled  by  easy 
stages  through  the  beautiful  villages  of  Vermont  and 
New  Hampshire  to  the  White  Mountains;  and  after 
remaining  a  week  at  Crawford's,  journeyed  on  to  Port- 
land. It  was  agreed  that  we  should  stop  a  day  or  two 
at  Salem,  a  relative  of  my  father's  being  then  a  resident 
there.  We  did  so,  and  were  most  cordially  received; 
welcomed  with  a  hospitality  that  would  have  done  honor 
to  the  home  of  any  gentleman  in  the  land,  the  Old  Do- 
minion and  the  Carolinas  not  excepted.  I  like  Salem. 
There  is  a  quiet,  and  cleanliness  and  respectability  about 
it  that  smacks  of  the  Quakers — or  of  the  better  circles, 
among  those  known  as  the  'higher  circles;'  the  calm 
self-possession  of  the  well-bred  man  or  woman  of  the 
world,  knowing  his  or  her  position.    The  sea-approach 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  107 

to  it  is  lovely  indeed.  I  have  entered  the  harbor  from 
the  North  and  from  the  South,  in  autumn  and  in  mid- 
winter, and  it  was  the  same  scene  of  picturesque  beauty. 
Nothing  grand,  nothing  awe-inspiring ;  but  giving  you 
the  pleasure  one  has  in  seeing  a  fine  woman,  or  a  fine 
picture — anything,  in  short,  where  harmony  and  pro- 
portion please  you. 

"  The  week  glided  quickly  away.  On  the  evening  pre- 
vious to  the  day  of  our  departure,  we  had  crossed  the 
bridge  and  walked  for  a  mile  on  the  pretty  street  lead- 
ing towards  Marblehead.  On  our  return,  we  stopped 
for  a  few  moments  on  the  bridge.  It  was  already  dusk. 
The  sky  was  black  and  lowering,  and  the  street  lanterns 
were  blinking  drowsily  through  the  fog.  The  'jiggers' 
and  'pinkeys'  lay  affectionately  side  by  side,  as  if 
nestling  closer  together  to  meet  the  threatened  storm. 

"'By  the  by,'  said  our  host,  as  we  walked  homeward, 
6  the  Minerva  is  bound  to  Baltimore  and  will  sail  in  a 
day  or  two.     Why  not  stay  and  go  home  in  her  V 

"None  of  us  had  thought  of  such  a  thing;  but  the 
proposition  found  favor.  Kent  was  'dying  to  see  a 
storm  at  sea,'  and  I  was  quite  as  eager  to  know  some- 
thing of  'the  ropes.'  It  was  agreed  upon.  We  re- 
mained some  few  days  longer,  and  one  fine  afternoon 
towards  the  last  of  September  we  bade  good-by  to  Salem. 
We  had  fine  weather  during  the  night,  and  the  Minerva 
proved  to  be  all  that  we  could  ask.  She  was  a  beauti- 
ful bark  of  near  four  hundred  tons  burthen,  and  we 
were  anticipating  a  pleasant  passage.  The  weather 
changed,  however,  the  next  day,  and  as  we  were  passing 
Gay-Head  and  Cuttyhunk  (for  we  ran  through  the 
Vineyard  Sound),  the  wind  hauled  to  the  north-east 
and  soon  freshened  to  a  gale.    What  was  worse,  it  began 


108  nag's  head. 

to  rain  most  furiously;  a  cold,  driving,  pelting  easterly 
rain.  One  by  one  our  light  sails  had  been  taken  in ; 
the  royals  and  topgallant  sails  furled,  the  flying-jib 
stowed.  The  foretopmast  staysail  lay  snug  in  the  net- 
tings, and  the  mainsail  and  spanker  hung  in  the  brails. 
Anon  the  topsails  were  reefed,  and  the  mainsail  furled, 
and  when  I  went  below  for  the  night  the  Minerva  was 
lying-to,  under  a  close  reefed  maintopsail  and  foretop- 
mast staysail.  She  was  an  excellent  sea  boat ;  never 
throwing  a  drop  of  water  abaft  the  mainmast,  and  riding 
the  angry  waves  like  an  albatross  in  the  snow  and  hail 
of  Cape  Horn. 

"  'We  shall  have  a  dirty  night  of  it,  doctor' — I  had 
become  accustomed  already  to  my  new  title — 'I'm 
afraid,'  said  the  mate,  as  I  stepped  into  the  companion- 
way  to  go  below.  '  If  you  are  unable  to  sleep,  let  me 
know,  and  I'll  have  a  hammock  slung  for  you.' 

"  I  thanked  him,  and  descended  to  my  state-room. 
Kent  had  left  a  message  for  me  when  she  retired  to 
call  her  when  the  gale  was  at  the  worst,  whether  it 
rained  or  not,  though  she  was  even  then  paying  the  cus- 
tomary first  tribute  of  the  landsman  to  the  sea.  My 
father,  too,  less  fortunate  than  myself,  was  sea-sick,  and 
had  kept  his  berth  during  the  day.  What  with  the 
uneasy  motion  of  the  vessel,  the  hoarse,  dull,  husky 
sivash  of  the  sea  under  the  stern,  the  creaking  of  the 
bulkheads  and  the  dull  thumping  of  the  rudder  on  its 
pintles,  it  was  long  ere  I  slept.  Fatigue  and  drowsi- 
ness, however,  carried  the  day,  and  I  fell  into  a  troubled 
sleep — if  sleep  it  could  be  called ;  for  I  remember  hear- 
ing the  cabin-boy,  a  little  Bermudian,  exclaiming 
'  Caramba !'  as  he  dropped  the  poker  on  his  toes  in  the 
effort  to  stir  the  coal  in  the  little  cylinder  stove.     I 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  109 

heard  the  second  mate,  too,  "when  he  came  below  and 
called  Mr,  Backstaff,  the  first  officer,  or  mate. 

"  'How's  the  weather?'  inquired  Captain  Spanker. 

" '  About  the  same,  sir.  Blowing  rather  harder,  though ; 
and  I  think  there'll  be  more  wind  before  there's  less.' 

"  '  Call  me,  Mr.  Backstaff,  if  it  blows  any  harder. 
And,  by  the  by,  clap  a  preventer  on  the  weather  yard- 
arm  of  that  topsail  yard.  I  see  that  the  riggers  rove 
the  old  brace.' 

"  As  the  'short,  small  chimes  of  day,'  as  Tom  Hood 
calls  them,  came  on,  I  slept  more  soundly,  and  it  was 
broad  day  when  I  awoke.  I  had  not  been  long  on 
deck  before  I  was  joined  by  Kent  and  my  father. 
The  wind  was  still  freshening,  and  the  ocean  was  white 
with  foam.  The  officers,  I  noticed,  looked  a  shade 
graver  than  common  as  they  looked  aloft  and  to  wind- 
ward, scanning  every  brace  and  stay,  and  every  change 
in  the  eastern  sky.  There  was  no  visible  sunrise,  but, 
instead,  a  driving  mist,  that  covered  us  and  ran  off  in 
drop3  to  the  slippery  deck. 

"  '  I  sha'n't  be  able  to  give  ye  yer  cup  o'  coffee  this 
mornin',  Mr.  Backstaff,'  said  the  cook,  who  had  come 
aft  to  make  his  apology.  '  The  sea  makes  such  a 
darnation  mess  on't  in  the  galley  that  it  aint  no  man- 
ner of  use  tu  try  tu  du  nothin' !  I'm  afraid  I  shall  hev 
to  give  ye  a  dinner  o'  cold  salt  junk  and  biscuit,  too ; 
for  I  can't  keep  no  water  in  the  coppers.' 

"  '  Very  good,  Ezekiel.    Do  the  best  you  can  for  us.' 

"And  that  functionary  retreated  to  his  official  duties. 

"  '  I'm  afraid  you'll  miss  Mr. 's  excellent  din- 
ners,' said  Captain  Spanker  to  Kent. 

"'By  no  means.  I  wouldn't  have  missed  seeing  this 
for  a  thousand  dinners.  And  with  my  present  sensa- 
10 


110  nag's  head. 

tions,  I  should  be  content  to  be  on  short  allowance,  I 
think  you  call  it,  for  a  week.' 

"  Night  came,  and  the  gale  had  not  abated.  I  turned 
out  at  midnight,  when  the  captain  and  second  mate 
were  called  for  the  mid-watch,  and  went  on  deck.  The 
wind  had  hauled  more  to  the  northward,  and  was  blow- 
ing almost  a  hurricane.  I  had  been  on  deck  but  a  few 
minutes,  when,  with  a  report  like  thunder,  the  main- 
topsail  burst  from  the  bolt  ropes. 

"  '  Call  the  watch  !'  shouted  the  captain,  as  he  took 
the  wheel.  i  Call  all  hands  !'  added  he,  as  the  second 
mate  ran  forward.  The  mate  had  heard  the  noise,  and 
came  on  deck  just  as  Captain  Spanker  had  got  the 
wheel  up. 

" '  We  must  get  her  before  the  wind,  Mr.  Backstaff, 
and  scud  her  while  we  bend  the  new  main-staysail.  Was 
the  foresail  reefed  last  night  before  it  was  furled  V 

"'Yes,  sir.' 

"  '  Well,  then,  give  her  the  foresail.' 

"The  customary  'Ay,  ay,  sir!'  was  the  reply,  and 
the  mate  went  forward.  A  '  hand'  was  soon  on  the 
yard,  and,  with  the  necessary  precautions,  the  foresail 
was  loosed  and  set.  We  had  been  fortunate  enough  to 
get  the  barque  before  the  wind  without  the  sea  once 
making  a  breach  over  her.  The  main-staysail  was  now 
got  up  from  the  sail-room,  and  snugly  bent. 

"  'We  must  try  to  head  her  to  again,  Mr.  Backstaff,' 
said  the  captain.  'I  don't  want  to  get  too  far  to  the 
south'ard.  She  lays  to  so  well  that  I  don't  want  to  scud 
her  as  long  as  we  can  show  any  canvass.  Can  you  get 
in  that  foresail  V 

"  '  I'll  try,  sir.  Lay  aloft  there,  for'ard,  and  furl  the 
foresail.' 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  Ill 

"  Half  a  score  of  men  sprang  into  the  rigging,  the 
second  mate  leading  the  way.  It  was  a  sight  of 
shivering  terror  to  me,  as  I  believe  it  is  to  most  lands- 
men, to  see  their  dusky  forms,  looking  in  the  darkness 
like  so  many  ghosts,  in  their  silent  ascent  to  the  yard. 
They  were  speedily  upon  the  foot-ropes.  The  mate,  with 
the  cook  and  steward,  and  another  hand  who  had  re- 
mained on  deck,  had  manned  the  clue-garnets,  leech- 
lines,  and  buntlines,  and  the  sail  was  snugly  brailed  to 
the  yard.  The  shrill  voice  of  the  second  mate,  as  he  was 
making  up  the  bunt  of  the  sail,  and  the  cheerful  response 
of  the  men,  reassured  me.  The  sail  had  already  been 
gathered  snugly  on  the  yard,  and  two  or  three  of  the 
men  were  already  in  the  rigging,  when,  above  the  hissing 
of  the  gale  among  the  cordage,  I  heard,  in  tones  that 
froze  the  blood  in  my  veins, 

'"A  man  overboard !' 

"A  faint,  sickening  sensation  was  stealing  upon  me 
as  I  stood  speechless  and  helpless  with  the  shock,  when 
a  voice  from  forward  shouted, 

"  '  No,  sir  !  he's  safe.  He  caught  the  backstay  as  he 
fell  V 

"  The  man  was  passing  the  gasket,  and,  thinking  he  had 
gathered  in  all  the  slack  of  it,  was  hauling  it  with  both 
hands.  It  i  rendered,'  and  he  fell.  Luckily,  he  was 
just  opposite  the  backstays  —  the  yard  having  been 
braced  to  the  wind — and  caught  one  of  them  as  he  fell. 

"  Oh,  what  a  dismal,  comfortless  night  it  must  have 
been  to  the  men ! — chilly,  rainy,  restless,  sleepless  ! 
How  little  is  known  of  the  hardships  of  the  sea  !  The 
gale  continued.  The  next  day  we  passed  a  boat  with 
spars  and  sails  lashed  in  it,  a  barrel  of  flour,  and  other 
objects  that  proved  the  severity  of  the  gale.     The  fol- 


112  nag's  head. 

lowing  day  the  gale  abated.  The  sea  went  down,  and 
we  were  able  to  show  a  little  more  canvas.  An  observa- 
tion at  noon  gave  us  the  latitude  of  Cape  Henry,  and 
we  stood  in  for  the  land.  The  day  was  warm  and 
sunny,  and  my  father  and  Kent,  with  the  captain's 
wife,  and  little  Dora,  her  daughter,  came  on  deck  and 
basked  in  the  sun. 

"  '  Shall  we  have  good  weather  now?'  asked  Mrs. 
Spanker,  addressing  the  captain. 

"  '  I'm  afraid  not,  my  dear.  I  don't  half  like  the 
looks  of  things  to  the  nor'ard  an'  east'ard.' 

"  He  was  right.  The  gale  had  but  lulled;  and  at  night 
it  blew  again  more  furiously,  as  it  seemed  to  me,  than 
before. 

"  '  I  wish  we  had  bent  that  new  topsail,  rough  as  it  has 
been  to-day, '  said  Captain  Spanker  as  he  went  below. 
6  Call  me,  Mr.  Backstaff,  if  anything  happens.  We  are 
a  good  deal  nearer  the  banks  than  I  care  to  be  in  a 
gale  like  this.' 

"  The  bark  lay  to  during  the  night,  and  rode  easily. 
We  were,  however,  drifting  rapidly  southward  and  west- 
ward, and  I  saw  that  the  officers  were  getting  uneasy  at 
so  near  an  approach  to  the  dreaded  Hatteras.  The 
dawn  of  another  day  brought  us  no  hope  of  better 
weather,  and,  to  fill  the  cup  of  our  miseries,  Mr.  Back- 
staff,  who  had  climbed  to  the  mizzen-top  at  sunset,  came 
hastily  down  and  whispered  to  the  captain, 

"  i  Land  under  our  lee,  sir,  in  plain  sight!  The  Kill- 
devil  Hills,  sir,  I  believe.' 

"  '  I  feared  as  much,'  said  the  captain.  '  And  unless 
the  wind  hauls  farther  to  the  north'ard,  we  are  lost. 
Call  the  people  aft,  Mr.  Backstaff.' 

"  <  Ay,  ay,  sir.' 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  113 

"  Our  situation  was  now  explained  to  the  men,  and 
orders  were  given  to  make  every  possible  preparation 
for  the  worst. 

"  <  Will  she  bear  the  foresail,  Mr.  Backstaff?' 

"  i  Not  a  minute,  sir.' 

"  '  Lash  the  helm  hard  a-lee,  and  call  all  hands  to  the 
cabin.' 

"  The  order  was  executed.  And  but  few  minutes 
had  elapsed  ere  every  one  of  that  little  company  was 
gathered  around  the  captain  in  the  little  cabin.  I  had 
from  the  first  been  much  impressed  by  the  quiet  dignity 
and  self-possession,  no  less  than  by  the  almost  court- 
like urbanity,  of  Captain  Spanker.  The  same  calmness 
was  manifested,  too,  during  the  previous  storm.  But 
never  had  I  seen  a  finer  subject  for  an  artist  than  the 
presence  of  the  captain,  as  he  sat  in  the  silent  cabin 
with  the  Book  of  books  upon  his  knee.  He  had  laid 
aside  his  dripping  tarpaulin.  The  long  and  damp, 
though  thin,  hair  hung  in  silvery  clusters  over  his  ample 
brow,  and  his  mien  seemed  almost  patriarchal. 

"  He  read  in  a  low,  but  calm  and  steady,  voice  the  ac- 
count of  Christ's  stilling  the  tempest.  We  knelt  while 
he  offered  up  a  fervent  prayer  to  the  Great  and  Good, 
the  Father  of  us  all,  that,  if  it  were  possible,  the  cup 
might  pass  from  us;  and  I  felt,  as  I  rose,  that,  if  the 
Deity  ever  interposed  to  vary  or  restrain  the  laws  which 
govern  the  works  of  his  hands,  he  could  do  so  at  the 
instance  of  such  a  man,  and,  at  such  an  awful  hour,  say 
to  the  sea,  < Peace  !  be  still!' 

"  A  hymn  was  sung.  We  grasped  each  other's  hands 
for  the  last  parting.  The  captain's  wife  threw  her  arms 
around  his  neck,  and  sobbed  and  wept  in  a  delirium  of 
agony.    And  my  poor  father,  my  adored  Kent — :oh  how 

10* 


114  nag's  head. 

bitterly  I  repented  what  then  seemed  to  me  such  folly, 
such  infatuation  as  I  had  been  guilty  of,  in  going  on 
board  the  ill-fated  vessel !  We  huddled  more  closely 
together.  The  officers  and  crew  went  on  deck,  and  we 
were  left  alone.  There  was  no  longer  any  disguise,  and 
with  Kent  pressed  to  my  heart  I  sat  awaiting  the  terri- 
ble crisis. 

"  What  an  hour  was  that  which  succeeded!  The  gale 
seemed  to  have  been  gathering  its  mightiest  energies 
for  its  last  expiring,  convulsive  struggle.  The  tempest 
literally  howled  around  us,  hissed  through  the  strained 
rigging,  and  swept  with  a  November-like  I  sugh'  at 
intervals,  that  added  intensity  to  the  horrors  of  night, 
and  storm,  and  darkness.  The  bulkheads  creaked  and 
groaned  as  the  barque  plunged  heavily  in  the  sea;  and 
it  was  with  difficulty  that  we  could  hear  one  another  in 
conversation.  My  father  was  pale  and  grave,  but  calm ; 
and  as  we  sat,  with  my  hand  in  his  own,  he  said  to  me, 
'  Be  firm,  my  son;  all  hope  is  not  yet  lost.  And  when 
the  worst  comes  to  the  worst,'  added  he,  in  a  whisper 
in  my  ear,  '  both  our  efforts  will  of  course  be  for  her.' 

u  A  silent  pressure  of  the  hand  was  my  only  reply. 
It  had  scarcely  been  given  when  Mr.  Backstaff  came 
below,  and  said, 

"  '  It  is  time  you  were  on  deck.  We  are  nearing  the 
land,  and,  unless  I  am  mistaken,  the  hills  I  see  are  those 
of  Jockey's  Ridge,  a  little  above  Nag's  Head.  If  so, 
the  beach  is  of  sand,  without  a  rock  as  big  as  a  gull's 
egg  for  leagues.  So  much  for  the  hopeful  side  of  the 
matter.  I  need  scarcely  remind  you  that  we  are  still  in 
the  most  imminent  danger,  and  that  nothing  less  than 
a  miracle  can  prevent  the  Minerva  from  going  ashore.' 

"  We  followed  him  on  deck.    The  roar  of  the  breakers 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  115 

was  already  audible.  Lights  were  moving  along  the 
shore,  and,  from  appearances,  our  situation  was  known 
to  the  bankers.  Lashings  were  now  passed.  Spars, 
gratings,  and  the  hencoop  (which  had  been  knocked 
into  three  or  four  pieces)  lay  on  deck  in  readiness  for 
the  emergency. 

"  \  Up  with  your  helm  !'  said  Captain  Spanker  to  the 
man  at  the  wheel. 

"<  Ay,  ay,  sir!' 

"  The  Minerva  fell  off,  and  in  a  few  minutes  we  were 
standing  in  directly  for  the  land. 

"'  Take  care  of  yourselves,  all  now!'  said  the  cap- 
tain ;   'and  may  God  have  mercy  upon  us  !' 

"Those  who  are  familiar  with  the  coast  know  perfect- 
ly well  that,  regular  as  is  the  beach  in  its  soundings, 
there  are  places  where  there  are  three  or  four  fathoms 
of  water  within  as  many  fathoms  of  the  shore.  Into  one 
of  these  places,  as  if  some  good  angel  were  guiding  her, 
did  the  Minerva  run,  and  her  flying-jib-boom  was  far 
up  over  the  beach  when  she  struck.  Crash  went  her 
masts  over  the  bows  ! 

" '  Forward,  all  of  you,  for  your  lives !'  shouted 
Captain  Spanker,  as  he  bore  his  wife  and  child  away. 

"  Catching  Kent  in  my  arms,  I  sprang  after  him.  It 
was  well  that  I  did  so  ;  for,  as  I  reached  the  windlass,  a 
huge  wave  came  curling  over  the  stern,  and  sent  the 
spray  over  our  heads,  while  the  foaming  water  filled  the 
deck,  and  was  as  high  as  the  palls  of  the  windlass 
where  we  stood.  So  firmly  was  the  vessel's  keel  im- 
bedded in  the  sand  that  she  did  not  broach  to,  and,  as 
she  was  relieved  of  her  spars,  she  did  not  at  once  keel 
over.  A  rude  bridge  was  made  of  the  fallen  top-hamp- 
er, and  with  the  single  exception  of  one  of  the  fore- 


116  nag's  head. 

mast  hands,  we  were  all  safely  landed  on  the  beach. 
He,  poor  fellow,  was  crushed  beneath  the  spars  when  the 
Minerva  struck. 

"  Surrounding  some  three  or  four  carts,  on  the  beach, 
were  a  score  of  the  bankers  of  both  sexes.  A  lady,  who 
was  so  closely  hooded  that  I  could  not  discern  her  features, 
and  who  had  been  particularly  active  in  her  exertions  to 
get  us  safely  off  the  wreck,  invited  us  very  cordially  to 
accompany  her  home.  The  others  were  no  less  hospitable. 
She  hoped,  at  least,  she  said,  that  the  ladies  and  the 
gentlemen  with  them  would  consider  her  house  their  own 
so  long  as  they  might  be  pleased  to  stay. 

"  To  be  brief.  In  half  an  hour,  Captain  Spanker  and 
his  lady  and  child,  my  father,  Mr.  Backstaff,  the  second 
mate,  Kent,  and  myself  were  surrounding  a  blazing  fire, 
at  the  hospitable  residence  of  Mrs. . 

"The  removal  of  the*hood  revealed  to  us — not  a  very 
handsome,  certainly — but  decidedly  a  fine  face.  The 
figure  and  dress  and  manner  were  unexceptionable. 
We  remained  there  a  fortnight.  My  father  seemed  in 
no  haste  to  get  away.  The  Minerva  was  fully  insured. 
Captain  Spanker's  misfortune  had  not  affected  his  repu- 
tation with  the  owners,  and  a  letter  came  from  them 
offering  him  another  vessel  whenever  he  chose  to  take 
charge  of  her. 

"  When  we  next  visited  Nag's  Head,  Mrs. had 

become  Mrs.  C ,  and  Kent  Robinson  had  assumed 

the  same  appellation.  My  father  took  a  sudden  fancy 
to  the  cultivation  of  cotton,  and  accordingly  sold  the 
Maryland  homestead,  and  removed  to  his  wife's  planta- 
tion in  Bertie. 

"  Everything,  you  see,  Mr.  Seaworthy,  to  keep  me 
here ;  and  here  I  shall  probably  have  the  vital  principle 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  117 

shaken  out  of  me  by  these  North  Carolina  chills  !  By 
the  by,"  added  he,  as  we  separated,  "  remember  that  you 
are  to  dine  with  me  to-morrow.  At  four,  if  you  please; 
and  so  a.u  plaisir !" 

THE  DREAM. 

"  Sopor  fessos  complectitur  artus." 

A  very  paradise  is  Nag's  Head  for  the  sleeper ;  for 
the  dreamer,  the  empyrean.  At  dawn  of  day,  take  thy 
farewell  of  old  Somnus  in  such  wise  as  to  retain  thy  place 
in  his  good  graces,  for  his  sworn  foe,  Noise,  gets  the  better 
of  him  in  most  of  their  battles.  Din  is  the  word  for  it. 
Pots,  kettles,  horses,  dogs,  geese,  chickens,  children, 
nurses,  babies,  invalids,  and  doctors  all  join  in  the  matu- 
tinal hubbub.  Some  bear  it  philosophically ;  some  groan, 
some  growl  under  the  visitation^:  some,  with  outward 
seeming  of  Christian  resignation,  submit, 

" all  hopeless  of  relief, 

And  curse  the  stars  that  had  not  made  them  deaf  I" 

For  myself,  I  am  in  the  first  category.  It  cannot  be 
helped. 

"  Sic  volvere  Parcas  V 

and  in  imaginary  habiliment  of  sackcloth  and  figurative 
sprinkling  of  ashes,  I  bow  to  the  grim  necessity  with 
what  grace  I  may. 

I  am  digressing.  As  soon  as  you  are  up,  there  is 
regularly  a  proposition  to  bathe.  The  desperate-looking 
invalids  you  see  on  the  battery  in  the  morning  at  cock- 
crowing  would  here  be  certain  to  bathe.  Everybody 
bathes.  You  would  bathe  here,  good  reader.  There's 
no  escaping  it. 


118  nag's  head. 

Well,  bathing  will  occupy  the  time  until  breakfast. 
Then  you  will  go  to  the  bowling-alley,  or  ride,  or  walk, 
or  fish,  or  visit  until  dinner ;  and  your  peregrinations 
through  the  sand  will  assuredly  bring  fatigue  and  an 
appetite.  A  siesta  towards  night  will  partially  recruit 
you.  But  then  comes  bathing,  in  a  second  edition. 
Then  comes  the  walk  on  the  sea-beach  ;  a  fair  form,  a 
bright  eye,  a  voice  "  so  soft,  so  clear,"  and  the  natu- 
ral mesmerism  of  young  hearts — ay,  and  old  ones,  for 
the  heart  "never  all  grows  old!" — that  consume  the 
time  until  the  saloon  wakes  drowsily  from  the  repose  of 
the  day,  and  relaxes  its  grim  visage  into  an  unmistak- 
able   smile.     You  dance  until  you   begin  to  think  of 

Dr.  A 's   last    advice    and   prescription,    and   are 

afraid  to  look  at  the  clock,  and  then  you  dig  your  way, 
with  desperate,  teeth-set  energy,  through  the  dry, 
yielding,  cringing,  shrinking,  nerve-depressing  sand, 
homeward. 

There  arrived,  you  step  stealthily  up  the  stairs,  (un- 
less the  family  use  a  ladder!)  and  go  to  bed.  And  now 
do  all  things  conspire  to  lull  you  to  repose.  Night  is 
in  full  empire  ;  and 

"Night  is  the  time  for  rest ; 

How  sweet,  when  labors  close, 
To  draw  around  an  aching  breast 

The  curtain  of  repose ! 
Stretch  the  tired  limbs  ;  and  lay  the  head 
Upon  our  own  delightful  bed!" 

Old  ocean's  day  growl  has  softened  into  what  the  re- 
lenting god  of  the  sea  intends  to  be  considered  a  sort 
of  lullaby  (such  an  one,  mayhap,  as  Polyphemus  might 
have  thundered  to  a  young  Cyclops,  inclined  to  be  rest- 
less with  croup  or  measles) ;  somnolent  sounds  and  sights 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  119 

are  all  around  you.  The  long-drawn  breath,  the  inci- 
pient snore,  the  flickering  light  of  your  expiring  candle, 
and  the  smile  on  the  face  of  your  fellow-lodger  (every- 
body has  fellow-lodgers  at  Nag's  Head) ! 

"As  if  sweet  spirits 
Suggested  pleasant  fancies  to  his  soul," 

— all  conspire  to  lull  you  to  rest.  One  moment  of  the 
delicious  sense  of  rest  and  of  coming  sleep,  and  you  are 
in  the  land  of  dreams. 

In  such  wise  did  I  sink  to  rest  last  night.  I  had  been 
particularly  busy  all  day.  In  the  evening,  a  lady  coaxed 
me  to  dance,  and  I  walked  homeward  very  decidedly 
under  the  witchery  of  the  evening's  recollections.  An 
eye  that  would  have  coaxed  Thomas  a  Kempis  from  his 
self-flagellation — a  form  such  as  Mussulmen  see  in  their 
dreams  of  heaven — a  step  too  light  and  elastic  to  make 
me  quite  certain  that  my  partner  in  the  dance  was  of 
"  the  things  of  earth,"  what  wonder  that  I  ran  full  tilt 
against  the  well-curb,  fell  up  stairs,  (causing  the  boy 
Isaac  to  cry  "Fire!")  and  finally  tried  to  hang  up  the 
candle  and  blow  out  my  watch. 

I  went  to  bed.  I  reflected  a  moment  on  the  courage 
which  I  had  displayed  in  daring  to  dance. 

"  How  sleep  the  brave  who  sink  to  rest," 

thought  I,  and  straightway  I  was  asleep. 

I  dreamed.  I  was  a  traveler  and  on  foot.  The  way 
was  full  of  difficulties — as  full,  every  whit,  as  the  Pil- 
grim's Progress — and  my  companion  was -.     She 

was  an  invalid ;  but  she  was  mine.  I  was  no  longer 
alone.  I  should  no  longer  fetter  the  best  impulses  of 
my  heart.     I  loved,  and   "was  beloved  again"  by  the 


120  nag's  head. 

gentlest  and  best  of  God's  creatures.  How  patient,  and 
painstaking,  and  happy  was  I  in  supporting  the  weary 
step,  and  in  removing  every  obstruction  from  the  way ! 
There  was  no  toil  in  such  exertion ;  for,  though  the  lips 
kept  obstinately  still,  the  gentle  eye  met  my  own  and 
thanked  me  right  eloquently.  And  long  years  of  toil 
and  poverty ;  a  thousand  hardships  by  land  and  sea ; 
the  despairing  weariness  of  half-paid  toil;  the  hopes 
half-born  and  crushed ;  the  tear  of  bereavement ;  the 
iron  heel  of  power ;  entrenched  wrong ;  the  pang  of 
disease ; — all  were  forgotten.  The  mystery  was  ex- 
plained. The  Problem  of  Life  was  solved.  And  my  cup 
of  joy  was  full  to  overflowing. 

How  long  I  thus  slept  and  dreamed  I  know  not ;  but 
mistily  there  cometh  to  my  recollection,  as  I  try  to 
recall  it  all,  the  dusky  physiognomy  of  Old  Jeff,  as  he 
appeared  to  me  in  the  first  faint  gleaming  in  the  morn- 
ing, and  roused  me  from  Elysian  sleep  with 
"  Maussa  Gregory  !  Maussa  Gregory  !" 
"  Eh  ?  hillo  !    What  is  it  ?"     And  again  I  slept. 

"Maussa  Gregory!  Maussa  Greg !" 

"What  in ,  what  do  you  want  now  V 

"Maussa  John's   comp'ment  to   you,  and  wants  to 
know  if  Maussa  Gregory  bin  gwoin  bathiri  dis  mornin' !" 

"  May  the Yes,  Jeff;  tell  him  I'll  be  most  happy 

to  go  !" 


Months  have  passed,  good  reader.  Yet  there  comes 
to  me  in  loneliness  and  in  dreams  that  same  vision. 
Shall  I  not  set  up  the  Lares  ? 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  121 


A  STROLL. 

Sergeant  Talfourd,  in  his  inimitable  "Ion,"  (I 
know  it  by  heart  almost,)  makes  King  Adrastus  say 
that,  in  the  overpowering  misfortunes  of  his  early  youth, 
he  fled  to  the  mountains,  and 

"  Struggled  with  the  oak 
In  search  of  weariness." 

I  infer  from  this  that  there  were  no  sand-hills  in 
Argos ;  for,  if  there  be  one  species  of  bodily  exertion 
which,  more  than  walking  in  the  sand,  brings  you  the 
sense  of  weariness,  I  have  it  yet  to  add  to  my  labor 
experiences.  I  have  just  returned  from  the  heights 
(sand-hills)  called  Jockey's  Ridge;  and,  as  1  walked, 
I  am  prepared  to  say  that  I  began  my  walk  homeward 
envious  of  the  holiday  amusement  of  Sisyphus  and  Ixion. 

As  I  walked  along  the  beach,  I  perceived,  at   some 

distance,  my  friend  Dr.  A ,  with  his  cab  and  bays, 

and  a  bevy  of  ladies.  As  they  came  nearer,  I  discovered 
that  there  were  two  other  vehicles  in  the  rear.  Accept- 
ing the  doctor's  very  polite  invitation  (few  people  know 
so  well  how  to  give  one),  I  took  a  seat.  We  fell  to  con- 
versing somehow  on  "practice,"  at  Nag's  Head;  and 
the  folio wiDg  is  a  very  imperfect  sketch  of  Dr.  A.'s 
description  of  his  "practice"  among  the  negroes. 

"You  may  set  it  down  as  an  axiom,"  said  he,  "that 
you  can  never  get  a  direct  answer  from  a  negro  that 
will  afford  you  the  slightest  clue  as  to  what  ails  him. 
One  of  them  came  to  me  last  evening." 

"  <  Well,  Peter,'  said  I,  '  what's  the  matter  V 

"Tse  sick!' 
11 


122  nag's  head. 

"'Of  course.     I   suppesed  you  were  sick,    or  you 
■wouldn't  come  to  a  physician.     What  ailsjouV 

"  'I  feels  mighty  bad  !' 

"  '  Well  how  ?  where  V 

"'0  !  I'se  got  a  mighty  misery  V 

" '  The  devil  take  your  misery !  Can't  you  tell  me 
what  ails  you  ?    Have  you  got  a  colic  ?' 

"  '  Yes,  maussa  !' 

"  'Terrible  pain  in  your  head,  haven't  you?' 

"  f  Yes,  maussa  !' 

"  '  A  kind  of  aching  in  the  small  of  your  back  ?' 

"'Yes,  maussa !' 

"  '  Well,  you're  in  a  bad  stage  of  Kamtschatka  cho- 
lera !    Here's  a  dose  of  salts  for  you !'" 

It  was  late  when  we  returned.  The  twilight  was 
deepening  fast  into  night.  The  moon  rose  as  I  passed 
the  bathing-house  on  my  way  home,  and  I  stood  for 
some  time  enjoying  the  gorgeous  beauty  of  the  scene. 
The  full  moon,  lighting  up  the  scattered  clouds  along 
the  horizon — the  waves  glistening  beneath — the  breakers 
throwing  their  foam  upon  the  beach — the  gleaming  of 
lights  from  the  neighboring  cottages — the  wide  waste  of 
sand — all  these  I  shall  not  soon  forget. 

This  is,  indeed,  a  glorious  climate  ;  and  Nag's  Head 
is  a  most  charming  place,  in  spite  of  the  sand-hills,  fever 
and  ague,  and  other  desagremens.  As  I  pass  day  after 
day  in  almost  uninterrupted  sunshine,  I  can  feel  some 
of  the  enthusiasm  of  the  young  poet,*  a  native  of  North 
Carolina,  who  thus  writes  of  the  land  of  his  sires : — 

"  0  !  Carolina,  Eden  of  the  earth  ! 
Land  of  my  sires,  and  blest  scene  of  my  birth  ! 
*  *  *  * 

*  W.  H.  Rhodes,  Esq. 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.       123 

A  home  where  Raleigh's  eagle-sighted  eye 
Saw  fields  as  bright  as  bloom  beneath  the  sky ; 
Where  swift  Roanoke  beholds  around  him  smile 
Lands  yet  more  fair  than  Deltas  of  the  Nile  ; 
Where  Albemarle,  with  sweetened  tides  opprest, 
Allures  each  tribe  of  Ocean  to  her  breast; 
Where  Alleghany  lifts  his  golden  chain, 
And  sends  his  tribute  to  the  thirsty  main." 


I  am  sorely  tempted  to  erase  every  line  of  the  above 
commendatory  paragraphs  about  The  Old  North  State. 

I  had  written  thus  far  yesterday,  when  I  heard  C 

singing, 

"0!  Molly  Bawn,  why  leave  me  pining  ?" 

I  laid  down  my  pen,  and,  descending  to  the  sitting- 
room,  brought  what  little  voice  a  recent  chill  had  left 
me  to  his  assistance.  What  with  song  and  chat,  the 
morning  wore  rapidly  away.  As  the  clock  was  on  the 
stroke  of  twelve,  it  struck  me  that,  for  so  sunny  a  day, 
in  the  middle  of  August,  there  was  a  most  remarkable 
feeling  of  chilliness  in  the  air.  I  called  the  ladies'  at- 
tention to  the  fact.  They  had  not  noticed  it.  I  went 
to  the  piazza  to  see  if  we  had  an  east  wind.  To  my 
surprise  it  was  south-west.  The  chilliness  increased,  and 
it  was  not  until  my  teeth  were  in  a  Harry  Gill  chatter 
that  I  "  gave  it  up,"  and  confessed  that  I  had  a  verita- 
ble chill.  Fever,  opium,  quinine,  and  other  pleasant 
accompaniments  succeeded,  and  I  am,  at  this  present 
writing,  about  the  most  emphatic  commentary  on  cli- 
mate that  can  be  conceived. 

I  am  interrupted  by  the  pleasant  voice  of  S -,  who 

says  to  me  very  quietly,  even  as  she  would  call  me  to 
dinner, 


124  nag's  head. 

"  Time  to  take  the  quinine,  Mr.  Seaworthy  !" 
By  the  by,  Julius  Caesar  must  have  had  a  "  chill." 
For  does  not  Cassius  say 

"He  had  a,  fever  when  he  was  in  Spain?" 

It  was,  of  course,  after  the  chill ;  for,  says  Cassius, 

"  And,  when  the^  was  on  him,  I  did  mark 
How  lie  did  shake.  *        *        * 

And  that  same  eye,  whose  bend  doth  awe  the  world, 
Did  lose  his  lustre.         *         *         * 
Ay,  and  that  tongue  of  his  that  bade  the  Romans 
Mark  him,  and  write  his  speeches  in  their  books, 
'  Alas  V  it  cried,  '  Give  me  some  drink,  Titinius  !' 
As  a  sick  girl." 

Perhaps  the  worst  feature  of  the  chills  (I  have  a 
treatise  in  preparation  on  the  subject,  for  the  medical 
world)  is  the  surprise  with  which  you  become  aware  of 
their  arrival ;  very  much  such  a  feeling,  I  fancy,  as  the 
vizier's  son  must  have  felt  when  he  found  himself  and 
his  bride  in  Aladdin's  chamber ;  or,  to  come  nearer 
home,  the  pleasurable  sensation  you  feel  on  discovering 
that  the  bland,  urbane  gentleman,  "with  the  white  hat 
and  the  big  stick,"  who  has  just  addressed  you  and  shaken 
your  hand  with  such  "distinguished  consideration,"  is 
the  sheriff! 

Scott  somewhere  tells  a  story  of  a  certain  abbess 
who  preserved  with  religious  care  what  she  verily  be- 
lieved to  be  the  bottled  tears  of  some  saint  departed 
this  life  in  the  faith.  An  Irishman  (from  Gal  way,  no 
doubt),  suspected  the  same  to  be  "  mountain  dew,"  or 
London  dock  ;  and,  to  the  utter  surprise  and  horror  of 
the  good  abbess,  who  beheld  the  sacrilege  in  speechless 
wonderment,  coolly  uncorked  and  drank  it.  In  some 
such  state  of  feeling  is  the  man  who,  after  "breaking" 


NAG'S  HEAD — AS  IT  WAS  AND  IS.  125 

the  chills  with  repeated  doses  of  mercury  and  quinine, 
finds  his  teeth  chattering  some  August  noon,  the  ther- 
mometer at  ninety-six,  and  his  hlood  at  zero. 

You  "walk  the  earth,"  sallow,  thin,  weak,  nerve- 
less— almost  lifeless ;  your  complexion  the  hue  of  a 
drum-head.  You  pay  your  dehts  and  make  your  will 
(these  being  the  diagnostic  features  of  the  most  danger- 
ous phase  of  your  disease),  and  get  angry  with  your 
friend,  who  bursts  into  a  Cyclopian  roar  of  laughter 
while  you  are  whispering  a  last  message  for  a  particular 
friend — a  lady,  mayhap — very  solemnly  in  his  ear. 
And,  with  an  assurance  that  a  Carolinian  "  thinks  him- 
self slighted,"  if  he  hasn't  a  touch  of  "the  bilious" 
once  a  year,  he  leaves  you  to  recover  your  spirits  and 
your  temper.  Some  lady  friend — ten  to  one,  'tis  a 
young  lady — sends  you  a  bouquet,  and  begs  your  friend 
to  say  to  you,  for  her,  that  you  need  never  expect 
another  favor  of  the  kind  if  you  presume  to  have 
another  chill. 

I  feel  that  I  am  dilating  at  very  considerable  length 
upon  this  fertile  theme.  My  friend  Dr.  A.  distinguished 
himself  at  the  close  of  his  medical  studies,  by  a  thesis, 
a  la  Charles  Lamb,  on  this  same  subject.  If  I  have 
written  with  any  of  his  own  graphic  power  of  delinea- 
tion, it  is  because  of  the  same  modest  reason  he  gave 
me  for  the  reception  of  his  thesis ;  the  fact,  namely, 
that  he  Wrote  "  out  of  the  abundance  of  the  heart." 
I  have  a  sort  of  "  weakness"  for  a  chill,  now,  and  it  is 
with  the  emotions  of  "  frater-feeling  strong"  swelling  at 
my  heart  that  I  say  vale! 

I  will  only  prolong  these  remarks  by  saying  that  the 
legislature  seems  to  me  to  have  been  culpably  negligent 
in  not  levying  a  tariff  "  for  revenue"  on  this  expensive, 

11* 


126  nag's  head. 

yet  general  luxury,  so  common,  like  salt  and  tea,  to  all 
classes  of  society.  Possibly,  it  might  be  taxable  on  the 
principle  of  the  (in  this  country)  growing  innovation  in 
political  economy,  known  as  "the  income  tax."  It 
might  not  be  amiss  to  add,  lest  the  suggestion  should  be 
misunderstood,  that  I  am  not  a  candidate  for  office. 

"And  now  farewell !  'tis  hard  to  give  thee  up  V* 


CHAPTER  XIV. 


ROANOKE    ISLAND. 


Directly  opposite  Nag's  Head,  across  Roanoke 
Sound)  which  is  here  something  more  than  a  league  in 
breadth),  is  Roanoke  Island.  This  Island,  it  will  be 
remembered,  is  somewhat  famous  for  being  the  spot  on 
which  the  colonists,  in  Raleigh's  second  expedition, 
formed  a  settlement.  The  records  of  those  days  are 
full  of  massacres,  murders,  and  other  bloody  scenes,  on 
which  it  is  almost  sickening  to  dwell.  They  are  but 
scanty;  and  therefore  the  remains  of  the  fort,  glass 
globes,  containing  quicksilver,  and  hermetically  sealed 
and  other  relics  occasionally  discovered  there,  give  rise 
to  a  thousand  conjectures  destined  never  to  be  solved. 

Roanoke  is  long,  narrow,  and  low,  but  rendered 
beautiful  by  its  groves  and  woods ;  among  which,  as 
you  sail  along  the  shore,  you  discern  at  intervals  the 
small  roof  and  curling  smoke  of  a  fisherman's  cottage. 
It  abounds,  too,  in   the   native  tea-plant  (called   the 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  127 

Yopon),  and  in  the  Scuppernong  (I  know  not  whether 
I  spell  it  correctly)  grape. 

As  you  land  directly  opposite  Nag's  Head,  you  enter 
a  little  thicket  on  the  shore,  and  suddenly  emerge  into 
a  little  "clearing."  Immediately  in  front  of  you  is  a 
snug  little  cottage  belonging  to  one  of  the  islanders, 
decidedly  one  of  the  tidiest  and  most  comfortable  I  have 
seen  for  many  a  day.  In  front  of  it  is  a  beautiful  lawn 
containing  a  "  grapery,"  underneath  which  you  can 
stand  and  pluck  the  most  delicious  clusters  until  your 
appetite  is  cloyed  with  them.  Roanoke  Island  is  of 
course  a  place  of  much  resort.  I  have  myself  visited  it 
twice,  and  not  without  hope  of  paying  it  another  visit. 
There  are  some  fragments  of  legendary  lore  concerning 
it,  which  should  not  be  lost.  For  one  of  these  I  am 
indebted  to  old  Jack. 

"Is  you  ben  to  Roanoke  Island,  Maussa  Seaworthy?" 
inquired  he  of  me  one  day. 

"Yes,  Jack." 

"  Did  you  see  Mister  Etheredge — ole  Adam  Ethe- 
redge?" 

"No." 

"Den  you  mought  jis  as  well  not  ben  gone  at  all." 

"Why,  Jack?" 

"Why?  In  de  fus  place,  he  is  de  oldest  man  on  de 
Island.  Den  he  knows  all  about  it,  and  'bout  de  ole 
times.  If  you  could  jis  hear  de  ole  man  tell  what 
he's  seen,  and  spin  his  long  yarns  dat  his  father  and 
grand'ther  tole  him!" 

"  So  you  have  heard  him  telling  his  stories  of  old 
times  V 

"Yes,  indeed,  maussa.  And  dere  is  one  yarn,  if 
you  goes  dere  ag'in,  you  must  ask  him  to  spin  for  you." 


128  nag's  head. 

"What  is  it,  Jack?" 

"Why,  'bout  Ellen  Baum,  de  fisherman's  darter? 
But,  Lord  bless  your  heart,  maussa,  you  aint  ben  guoine 
to  ask  me  to  spin  de  yarn  ?" 

"You  may,  if  you  please,  Jack ;  though  I  won't  detain 
you.  I  may  not  be  able  to  see  the  old  gentleman,  you 
know." 

"0  yes,  maussa;  you  doesn't  retain  me  at  all," 
replied  Jack,  in  an  apologetic  tone.  "But  Maussa  Ethe- 
redge  tell  you  so  much  better ;  though  I  b'lieve  I  knows 
de  story  as  well  as  he  does  himself,  for  I've  done  heard 
it  so  many  times." 

As  it  would,  perhaps,  be  tedious  to  the  reader  to 
peruse  the  story  in  Jack's  vernacular,  I  have  ventured 
to  give  it  in  my  own  language  ;  though  I  am  well  aware 
that  it  must  necessarily  lose  thereby  much  of  the  point 
and  effect  which  it  owed  to  Jack's  rare  powers  of  nar- 
rative and  description.  I  shall  be  a  thousandfold  re- 
paid for  the  labor  of  recording  it,  if  it  afford  half  the 
pleasure  to  the  reader  which  it  gave  to  me. 

ELLEN  BAUM;  OR,  THE  FISHERMAN'S  DAUGHTER. 

Many  years  ago,  there  lived  on  Roanoke  Island  but 
a  single  man,  of  mature  years.  Daniel  Baum,  for 
such  was  his  name,  was  a  son  of  one  of  the  adventurers 
who  fled  from  religious  persecution  in  Virginia,  (for 
even  the  English  Church  did  not  escape  the  bigoted  and 
intolerant  spirit  of  the  times,)  and  sought  a  quiet  home 
on  the  shores  of  Albemarle  Sound.  They  found  what 
they  sought:  freedom  to  worship  Grod  in  their  own  way; 
a  grateful  soil;  a  mild  climate  and  generous  fruits;  to- 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  129 

gether  with  an  unbounded  supply  of  fish  and  game. 
They  toiled;  they  prospered;  they  were  happy.  Their 
numbers  increased  in  a  ratio  that  would  have  alarmed 
Dr.  Mai  thus;  and  so  orderly  and  exemplary  were  they 
in  their  civil  and  social  relations,  that  for  years  they 
lived  without  any  established  code  of  laws. 

Conspicuous  among  them  was  old  Zoeth  Baum,  a 
patriarch  in  age  and  wisdom,  to  whom  they  referred  all 
controversies,  civil,  domestic,  and  religious.  And  right 
worthily  was  their  confidence  reposed  in  him.  Without 
exaggeration  might  he  have  adopted  the  words  of  the 
patriarch  of  Uz,  "When  the  ear  heard  me,  then  it 
blessed  me ;  and  when  the  eye  saw  me,  it  gave  witness 
to  me;  because  I  delivered  the  poor  that  cried,  and  the 
fatherless,  and  him  that  had  none  to  help  him.  The 
blessing  of  him  that  was  ready  to  perish  came  upon  me; 
and  I  caused  the  widow's  heart  to  sing  for  joy.  I  put 
on  righteousness,  and  it  clothed  me:  my  judgment  was 
as  a  robe  and  a  diadem.  I  was  eyes  to  the  blind,  and 
feet  was  I  to  the  lame.  I  was  a  father  to  the  poor; 
and  the  cause  which  I  knew  not  I  searched  out.  *  *  * 
Unto  me  men  gave  ear,  and  waited,  and  kept  silence  at 
my  counsel.'' 

But,  prosperous  as  he  had  been,  he  was  not  without 
his  share  of  the  ills  of  life.  It  is  ever  the  common  lot — 
the  "thorn  in  the  flesh" — the  skeleton  at  the  feast — the 
Mordecai  at  the  gate;  and  old  Zoeth  Baum  was  no  ex- 
ception to  the  rule.  Of  his  three  sons  and  three  daugh- 
ters, all  had  grown  quietly  up  in  the  steadiness  of  good 
habits,  and  in  the  enjoyment  of  domestic  happiness,  with 
the  exception  of  Daniel,  the  youngest  of  all.  Whether 
or  not  it  was  the  fact  of  his  being  the  youngest,  and 
therefore  the  pet,  we  will  not  stop  to  inquire.     Certain 


130  nag's  head. 

it  was  that  the  boy  manifested,  from  his  earliest  years, 
an  impatience  of  control  that  did  not  bode  well  for  his 
future  character.  Did  the  housekeeper  hide  his  whip 
or  his  ball?  The  shears,  or  the  tongs,  or  a  billet  of 
wood  were  the  ready  and  certain  means  of  redress;  and 
then  came  the  report,  the  stern  and  impatient  inquiry 
that  would  not  hear  the  boy's  defence,  and  then  the 
spirit-crushing  and  degrading  whip. 

Daniel  manifested,  too,  as  he  grew  up,  a  marked  fond- 
ness for  hunting  and  fishing,  especially  the  latter;  and, 
to  fill  up  the  cup  of  his  iniquities,  among  so  primitive 
and  simple  a  people,  he  betrayed  a  strong  attachment 
to  an  old  violin  which  he  had  purchased  of  a  strolling 
musician.  In  those  early  days,  men  were  valued  and 
respected  for  the  clear  head,  the  honest  heart,  and  the 
strong  arm;  and  had  Mozart,  or  Handel,  or  Beethoven 
lived  among  them,  he  would  have  been  shunned  as  a 
worthless  vagabond — as  a  heathen  man  and  a  publican. 
Old  Zoeth  Baum  was  passionately  fond  of  music,  and 
there  were  few  evenings  in  the  year  that  he  did  not  call 
on  his  children  to  sing  for  him.  They  had,  by  the  as- 
sistance of  the  eldest  sister,  attained  sufficient  skill  to 
read  music  and  carry  their  parts  independently.  Strange 
as  it  may  seem,  however,  (and  old  Zoeth  Baum  was  not 
alone  in  the  senseless  and  unreasonable  prejudice,)  much 
as  he  loved  music  in  the  abstract,  there  was  no  single 
devotee  of  the  art  whom  he  did  not  despise  from  the  bot- 
tom of  his  heart. 

Instead,  therefore,  of  suffering  the  boy  to  follow  the 
bent  of  his  humor,  and  endeavoring  to  encourage  him 
to  seek  eminence  in  his  favorite  path,  people  did  then 
as  they  do  now-a-days.  They  turned  a  frowning  face 
on  the  boy,  and  his  temper  became  soured,  and  his 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  131 

habits  became  unsteady;  and  the  pharisaical  passed  by 
him,  as  one  "joined  to  his  idols,"  and  fit  to  be  "let 
alone."  How  many  a  warm  heart  and  ambitious  spirit 
has  thus  been  crushed  into  sullen  desperation,  or  apathy, 
or  stung  into  remonstrance,  resistance,  crime,  and  dis- 
grace ! 

The  boy  would  not  be  controlled.  He  grew  more  and 
more  shy  and  reserved,  and  spent  days,  and  sometimes 
weeks,  in  his  favorite  sports.  To  crown  all,  he  won  the 
heart  and  hand  of  Susan  Morrison,  the  belle  of  the 
colony.  The  secret  of  his  absence  from  home  was  now 
explained.  Roanoke  Island  was  the  property  of  his 
father;  and,  when  absent  on  his  sporting  excursions,  he 
had  built,  with  the  assistance  of  an  old  servant  who  was 
devoted  to  him,  a  comfortable  cabin,  and  supplied  it 
with  the  rude  but  serviceable  furniture  then  in  almost 
universal  use.  To  avoid  the  storm  which,  he  well  knew, 
would  follow  the  elopement,  he  carried  his  wife  imme- 
diately to  Roanoke.  To  her  father  and  brothers,  who 
followed  him  to  recover  the  lost  one,  Daniel  coolly 
showed  the  muzzles  of  a  brace  of  muskets  at  the  win- 
dow; and  after  some  parley  the  pursuers  retreated.  De- 
votedly attached  to  the  affectionate  girl  who  had  con- 
sented to  share  the  lot  of  one  held  so  generally  in  ill 
repute,  Daniel  now  became  industrious  and  steady.  The 
parents  and  friends  of  both  were  at  length  reconciled. 
His  father  gave  him  the  island,  and  the  parents  of 
Susan  showered  upon  her  every  article  of  comfort  and 
luxury  which  it  was  in  their  power  to  bestow. 

An  only  daughter  was  the  fruit  of  their  union.  Ellen 
Baum  grew  up  more  beautiful,  if  possible,  than  her 
mother  had  been.  She  was  a  golden-haired,  laughing, 
romping,  happy-hearted  girl  as  ever  trod  the  greensward. 


182  nag's  head. 

Besides  the  more  feminine  accomplishments  which  her 
mother  had  been  able  to  teach  her,  she  became  expert 
in  the  management  of  the  boats,  in  shooting,  fishing, 
riding,  and  making  of  seines  and  other  fishing-gear. 
She  sang  sweetly,  accompanying  herself  on  an  old 
Spanish  guitar,  somewhat  dilapidated,  indeed,  for  it 
had  been  an  heirloom  in  the  family,  but  a  most  excel- 
lent instrument. 

Anon  came  Ellen  Baum's  sixteenth  birthday.  A  lit- 
tle party  had  been  made  up  in  honor  of  the  occasion, 
and  a  score  of  old  friends  from  the  mainland.  Old 
Zoeth  Baum  was  there,  with  his  broad  high  forehead, 
smiling  serenity  and  happiness  on  all.  Dignity  and 
form  were  laid  aside.  Daniel  Baum  took  up  the  violin, 
unchid  by  an  unkindly  glance ;  his  wife  looked  as  young 
and  as  gay  almost  as  she  had  done  at  twenty;  and 
pretty  Ellen  Baum  was  the  presiding  genius  who  threw 
the  light  of  joy  over  the  festivities  of  the  day.  Many 
a  youth  was  there,  on  the  mainland,  who  had  dared  to 
breathe  in  her  ear  the  oft-repeated  words  of  dalliance 
and  love;  but  apparently  in  vain.  No  blush,  no  flutter 
of  excitement,  no  lowering  of  the  lids  of  the  most  beau- 
tiful eyes  in  the  world,  ever  gave  her  mother  the  sus- 
picion even  that  her  heart  was  not  wholly  with  her 
parents.  And  yet  never  was  there  breathed  aught  like 
a  charge  of  heartlessness  or  coquetry  against  Ellen 
Baum.  What  was  a  still  better  test  of  her  character 
was  the  fact  that  the  most  envious  of  the  rival  belles  in 
the  colony  loved  her  as  if  she  had  been  a  sister. 

A  most  ample  dinner  was  provided;  for  Daniel  Baum's 
uniform  industry  and  economy  had  made  him  the  pos- 
sessor of  a  moderate  fortune ;  and  the  tables  groaned 
beneath  the  abundance  of  the  feast.     Wine,  too,  there 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  133 

was  in  plenty,  manufactured  from  the  native  grape;  and 
the  guests  fed  much  as  Scott's  heroes  feed,  in  his  tales 
of  the  olden  time. 

As  they  rose  from  the  table,  old  John  Morrison,  the 
maternal  grandfather  of  our  heroine,  sauntered  to  the 
door,  and  called  to  a  servant  for  his  pipe.  He  was  soon 
joined  by  Zoeth  Baum  and  his  son;  and  they  sat  long 
over  their  pipes,  talking  of  the  past,  while  the  young 
men  were  playing  at  football  in  an  adjoining  field. 

"  Bless  me !"  exclaimed  John  Morrison,  as  he  knocked 
the  ashes  out  of  his  pipe;  "  how  dark  it  has  grown  all  at 
once!  ISTeighbor  Baum,"  added  he,  addressing  the  old 
gentleman,  "it  is  time  we  were  going  home.  There'll 
be  wind  enough  and  to  spare,  and  rain  too,  before  morn- 
ing.    The  sooner  we're  off  the  better,  I'm  thinking." 

"No,  sir!  On  your  allegiance  to  me  as  queen  of  this 
day's  ceremonies,  I  charge  both,  as  good  and  loyal  sub- 
jects, to  stay,"  said  Ellen  Baum,  who  had  come  to  the 
door  unperceived. 

"You  might  as  well  stay,"  added  her  father,  seeing 
the  two  old  gentlemen  undecided.  "It'll  be  dark  be- 
fore you  can  get  home,  and  I  wouldn't  care  to  be  off 
Alligator  to-night  myself;  and  I'm  something  younger 
than  either  of  you." 

"Stay,  won't  you?"  said  Mrs.  Baum.  "Both  mo- 
ther and  Mrs.  Morrison  say  they  wouldn't  dare  to  cross 
the  Sound  to-night.  Besides,  we  expected  you  all  to 
stay;  for  we're  going  to  have  a  dance  after  supper,  and 
I  shall  be  vexed  if  you  go." 

And,  as  a  matter  of  course,  they  decided  to  remain. 

A  little  fire  was  kindled ;   for,  though  it  was  then  the 

Indian  Summer,  and  there  had  been  no  fire  during  the 

day,  the  evenings  were  chilly,  and  a  fire  was  indispens- 

12 


134  nag's  head. 

able.  Supper  was  eaten,  and  the  tables  removed.  High 
piled  the j  the  wood  in  the  huge  old-fashioned  fireplace; 
and,  as  the  storm  gathered,  the  wind  whistling  its  wild 
and  fitful  tune  in  every  cranny,  and  the  big  rain-drops 
pattering  musically  against  the  panes,  the  home-fire 
blazed  "broad,  and  bright,  and  high,"  throwing  its 
cheerful  smile  over  the  merriest  group  of  faces  that 
had  ever  been  seen  on  Roanoke.  Daniel  Baum  lifted 
his  well-worn  violin  from  its  case  with  much  the  same 
affectionate  care  that  he  would  use  in  lifting  a  new-born 
infant  from  the  cradle,  and,  with  a  few  preliminary 
flourishes,  struck  the  life-inspiring  air  of  "  Speed  the 
Plough." 

"Come,  friend  Morrison,"  said  old  Zoeth  Baum,  "I 
s'pose  we  must  lead  the  way;"  and,  offering  his  hand  to 
Madame  Morrison,  he  led  her  upon  the  floor.  John 
Morrison  was  in  nowise  reluctant  to  comply  with  his 
neighbor's  request ;  and  Madame  Baum,  the  elder,  de- 
clining to  dance,  he  successfully  made  overtures  to  the 
younger  matron.  The  set  was  soon  formed.  Air  fol- 
lowed air,  dance  followed  dance  ;  and  if  the  admirers  of 
Ellen  Baum  had  before  been  fascinated,  they  were  on 
this  occasion  bewildered  by  her  grace,  her  good  humor, 
her  tact,  that  made  everybody  pleased  with  himself,  and 
the  genuine  kindness  of  heart  that  suffered  no  occasion 
of  conferring  a  kindness  to  escape  unimproved. 

Midnight  found  the  dancers  still  in  high  feather.  The 
storm  had  increased  to  more  than  usual  fury;  but  it  was 
unheeded.  The  flush  of  happy  excitement  was  on  the 
cheeks  of  all ; 

"  The  roof  rung  with  voices  light  and  loud  *" 

iid  the  strains  of  the  music  were  mingling  happily  with 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  135 

the  hum  of  voices,  when  suddenly  a  vivid  flash  of  light- 
ning illuminated  the  darkness,  and  was  almost  instanta- 
neously followed  by  a  clap  of  thunder  that  shook  the 
cottage  to  its  foundations. 

The  dance  ceased. 

"  My  children,"  said  old  Zoeth  Baum,  "  we  have 
passed  a  happy  day.  The  night  is  now  half  gone,  and 
it  is  time  that  all  of  "us,  young  and  old,  should  retire  to 
rest.  The  great  and  good  Father  of  us  all  has  crowned 
us  with  blessings,  and  for  his  kind  care  over  us  these 
many  years,  let  us  not  forget  to  return  our  thanks." 

The  sounds  of  merriment  were  hushed.  A  table  was 
placed  in  the  centre  of  the  room ;  candles  were  placed 
upon  it ;  and  Ellen  Baum  took  the  old  family  Bible, 
covered  carefully  with  green  baize,  from  its  nook  in  the 
book-case,  and  gave  it  to  her  grandfather.  Adjusting 
his  spectacles  carefully,  he  opened  the  sacred  volume  at 
the  story  of  Naaman,  and  read  the  whole  to  the  atten- 
tive listeners.  A  hymn  followed :  those  beautiful  words, 

"  Thy  goodness,  Lord,  doth  crown  the  year ; 
Thy  paths  drop  fatness  all  around  ; 
And  barren  wilds  in  thee  rejoice, 
And  vocal  hills  return  the  sound/' 

The  strains  of  the  hymn  ceased,  and  all  knelt  in  prayer. 
The  heart  of  old  Zoeth  Baum  was  full.  He  spoke  of 
the  days  of  other  years,  when  a  little  company  of  exiles 
sought  a  home  in  the  wilderness.  He  acknowledged  the 
goodness  which  had  blessed  them  all  in  basket  and  store. 
Children  had  grown  up  around  them  to  cheer  and  com- 
fort their  declining  years.  The  field  had  yielded  them 
its  golden  sheaves  of  rustling  corn ;  the  trees  had  bent 


136  nag's  head. 

low  with  their  burden  of  fruit ;  the  vine  had  yielded  its 
increase,  and  their  flocks  had  multiplied  many-fold.  And 
when,  as  he  recounted  all  these  gifts  of  a  bountiful  Pro- 
vidence, and  said,  in  fullness  of  heart,  "  Father !  we 
thank  thee !"  the  big  tears  chased  one  another  over 
those  furrowed  cheeks  in  eloquent  attestation  of  the 
earnestness  and  sincerity  with  which  he  uttered  the 
words. 

He  spoke  of  those  who  were  kneeling  with  him  at  the 
family  altar ;  the  young  and  the  old ;  the  son  whom  he 
had  once  thought  lost,  now  industrious  and  happy;  and, 
last  of  all,  of  her  whose  birthday  they  had  met  to  com- 
memorate. "  To  thy  care,  0  Father!"  said  he,  in  tones 
that  quivered  as  he  spoke,  "  we  commit  her.  We  pray 
not  that  thou  wouldst  take  her  out  of  the  world,  but 
that  thou  wouldst  keep  her  from  the  evil.  May  thy 
choicest  blessings  ever  fall  upon  her  pathway  in  life,  and 
thy  grace  descend  upon  her  heart  as  the  small  rain  upon 
the  tender  herb,  and  as  the  showers  upon  the  grass ! 
And  now,  Father,  to  thee  do  we  commend  all  sorts  and 
conditions  of  men:  the  broken  in  heart;  the  erring  and 
the  guilty;  the  prisoner  in  his  narrow  cell;  the  sufferer 
on  the  couch  of  sickness ;  the  mariner  in  this  pitiless 
storm,  tossing  leagues  away  in  the  darkness  of  the  an- 
gry sea.  Let  thy  blessing  rest  upon  this  hospitable 
roof,  and  may  we  who  here  kneel  to  thee  for  thy  bless- 
ing rest  in  peace  !  We  ask  all  in  the  name  of  him  who 
hath  taught  us,  when  we  pray,  to  say,  '  Our  Father  who 
art  in  heaven.'  " 

And  he  repeated  the  Lord's  Prayer,  the  worshipers 
uniting  with  him. 

"  Good-night,  my  son!"  said  he,  as  he  rose  to  retire. 
"  Good-night,  my  daughter  !    Good-night,  friends  !    El- 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  137 

len,  my  darling,  my  kiss  before  I  go!  —  Hark!  eh? 
Wasn't  that  a  gun  ?  There's  a  vessel  in  the  offing  in 
distress.     What  can  we  do  ?" 

"We  will  see,"  replied  Dp^niel  Bauni,  tying  on  his 
sou'wester. 

"  But  you  don't  think  of  trying  to  cross  the  Sound  to 
Nag's  Head,  on  such  a  night  as  this?" 

"And  why  not,  my  dear  father?  I've  crossed  it  in  as 
severe  a  storm  as  this.  The  wind  is  from  the  south'ard, 
about  sou'-southeast,  and  I  can  run  across  in  half  an 
hour.  There's  no  room  for  a  sea,  you  know,  with  the 
wind  in  this  quarter ;  and  with  a  balance  reef  in  her 
mainsail,  the  Ellen  will  live  anywhere." 

Much  against  the  remonstrances  of  all  save  his  wife, 
who  had  implicit  confidence  (and  with  reason)  in  her 
husband's  judgment  and  skill,  Daniel  Baum  selected 
three  of  the  robust  young  men,  and,  loosing  his  favorite 
boat  from  her  moorings,  got  under  way  for  the  eastern 
shore  of  the  Sound.  Well  was  it,  that  night,  for  Daniel 
Baum  that  he  had  kept  his  boat  and  her  rigging  and 
sails  in  good  repair ;  for,  with  all  her  seaworthy  quali- 
ties, and  with  his  utmost  skill,  she  was  more  than  once 
nigh  swamping.  No  wonder,  then,  that  the  party  landed 
less  than  a  league  to  the  southward  of  Collington  Island. 
Fortunately,  however,  they  had  landed  abreast  of  the 
ill-fated  vessel ;  and,  securing  the  boat  by  hauling  her 
"high  and  dry"  upon  the  shore,  they  set  off  at  a  brisk 
pace  through  the  woods  towards  the  ocean.  A  walk  of 
about  one  mile  brought  them  to  the  beach.  And  there, 
with  her  broadside  exposed  to  the  fury  of  the  storm,  her 
spars  gone  by  the  board,  lay  the  hull  of  a  large  ship. 
All  around  is  Egyptian  darkness.  There  are  no  signs 
of  life,  either  on  the  shore  or  on  the  wreck.    In  the  roar 

12* 


138  nag's  head. 

of  the  breakers  no  cry  can  be  heard,  and  in  their  fury 
they  would  render  any  attempt  to  reach  the  vessel  worse 
than  useless.  The  foam  throws  a  dim  light  upon  some 
objects  floating  in  the  surf,  but  not  enough  to  define 
their  form ;  while,  overhead,  the  dark  masses  of  clouds 
are  rushing  headlong  on  their  airy  path.  The  breakers 
come  tumbling  in  masses  of  foam — 

"Exultant  que  vada,  atque  aestu  miscentur  araense." 

As  they  stood  upon  the  shore,  uncertain  what  to  do, 
a  sudden  flash  of  lightning  revealed  to  their  gaze  a  most 
appalling  spectacle.  Several  bodies,  lifeless  to  all  ap- 
pearance, were  discernible  in  the  surf;  and  directly  in 
front  of  them  the  waves  dashed  a  spar  within  a  fathom 
of  where  they  stood.  To  this  were  lashed  two  persons ; 
one  a  girl,  who,  by  her  appearance,  could  not  have  been 
more  than  twelve  years  of  age,  and  the  other  a  young 
man,  probably  some  six  or  eight  years  her  senior.  Com- 
missioning two  of  his  companions  to  rescue  any  others 
that  might  be  thrown  upon  the  beach,  Daniel  Baum  and 
Wilson  Morrison  resorted  to  the  usual  means  in  order 
to  restore  animation.  To  their  delight,  they  were  suc- 
cessful ;  and,  as  similar  efforts  on  the  part  of  their  com- 
panions had  been  of  no  avail,  the  bodies  which  had  been 
thrown  upon  the  shore  were  placed  beyond  the  reach  of 
the  tide.  Rude  litters,  of  drift-wood,  were  then  con- 
structed; and,  placing  the  youth  and  the  girl  upon  them, 
they  set  forth  on  their  way  homeward,  with  the  inten- 
tion of  paying  a  second  visit  to  the  sea-shore  in  the 
morning. 

It  was  not  yet  day  when  they  reached  the  cottage. 
With  the  aid  of  warm  flannels,  friction,  and  the  use  of 
gentle  stimulants,  the  sufferers  were  restored  to  con- 


ROANOKE  ISLAND.  139 

sciousness,  and  soon  sank  into  a  profound  sleep.  The 
gale  abated  as  the  day  dawned,  and  another  party  visit- 
ed the  wreck.  Three  bodies  more  were  rescued  from 
the  water;  but  they  had  evidently  been  dead  for  several 
hours.  The  remainder  of  the  ship's  company,  it  was 
subsequently  discovered,  had  been  drowned  in  the  cabin 
and  forecastle. 

A  week  passed  away.  The  bodies  of  the  unfortunate 
mariners  had  been  interred.  The  guests  had  returned 
to  their  homes ;  while  the  strangers  had  recovered  from 
the  consequences  of  the  storm,  had  written  home,  and 
were  expecting  their  friends  to  arrive  in  the  course  of 
the  next  fortnight.  Aside  from  the  gratitude  they  felt 
towards  the  inmates  of  the  cottage,  Edward  Merrill  and 
his  sister  Alice  had  already  learned  to  regard  them  all 
with  a  warmer  feeling.  No  one,  indeed,  could  resist  the 
influence  of  the  honesty,  kindness,  and  delicacy  which 
distinguished  Daniel  Baum  and  his  wife,  while  Ellen 
had  unconsciously  added  another  to  her  many  conquests. 
The  young  people  had  walked  together,  rode  together, 
sailed  together,  and  were  getting  to  be  "  coupled  and 
inseparable."    What  wonder  that  they  loved  ? 

A  fortnight  passed,  and  there  was  yet  no  intelligence 
from  home.  The  ensuing  week,  however,  would,  out  of 
all  question,  bring  Mr.  Merrill,  and  Edward  was  begin- 
ning to  ask  himself  if  it  were  possible  for  him  to  leave 
Roanoke.  It  was  Sabbath  evening ;  and  Ellen  had  ac- 
companied him  in  a  walk  along  the  shore  to  a  point 
where  an  oak  hung  over  a  steep  bank,  with  a  vine  en- 
veloping its  branches,  and  hanging  down  well  nigh  to 
the  ground. 

"Ellen,"  said  he,  timidly,  "it  is  scarcely  probable 
that  I  shall  remain  here  more  than  a  day  or  two  longer. 


140  nag's  head. 

I  cannot  leave  you  without  asking  you  again  if  there 
be  no  way  in  which  I  can  serve  you  or  yours;  without 
thanking  you,  once  more,  for  all  your  kindness,  and  tell- 
ing you  how  grateful  we  are,  and — and — " 

"  We  have  but  done  our  duty,  and  for  that  we  do 
not  deserve  thanks.'' 

"  But  there  has  been  something  more  than  the  mere 
performance  of  duty.  There  have  been  kindness,  and 
gentleness,  and  I  know  not  what  that  has  won  the  heart 
of  my  sister  Alice — and  mine,  too,  Ellen.  Dear  Ellen, 
I  love  you !'' 

There  was  no  reply.  But,  trembling  like  an  aspen 
leaf,  Ellen  Baum  stood  with  eyes  downcast,  and  her 
little  foot  making  divers  figures  in  the  sand. 

"  Have  I  offended  you?  Answer  me,  Ellen  !  Speak 
to  me  !  Forgive  me  if  I  have  caused  you  a  moment's 
pain.  Believe  me,  dearest  Ellen,  I  love  you !  Better 
than  my  life,  I  love  you!'' 

And  again  there  was  no  reply ;  but  the  gentle  girl, 
now  assured  of  his  love,  and  partially  recovered  from 
the  momentary  excitement,  lifted  her  soft  eyes  to  his 
own  with  an  expression  to  which  he  gave  a  most  liberal 
interpretation ;  for  the  next  instant  she  was  pressed  to 
a  heart  that  had  never  known  one  throb  which  its 
owner  need  have  blushed  to  reveal.  And  there,  in 
the  soft  light  and  mild  air  of  that  November  sunset, 
plighted  they  their  troth.  A  clear,  low  voice  inter- 
rupted the  closing  ceremony  of  the  compact  with  a 
"Why,  brother  Edward!"  and  a  laugh  that  woke  the 
woods  around  with  its  musical  echoes. 

The  rest  is  soon  told.  Henry  Merrill's  father  was  a 
merchant  in  Boston.  The  son  and  sister  were  going 
with  Captain  C ,  in  one  of  their  father's  ships,  to 


THE  SERVANTS.  141 

Cuba,  and  the  governess  who  had  embarked  as  a  com- 
panion for  Alice  was  drowned  at  the  time  of  the  wreck. 
Old  Zoeth  Baum  died  soon  afterwards,  and  Daniel 
Baum  and  his  wife  were  prevailed  upon,  with  no  little 
difficulty,  to  accompany  the  Merrills  to  Boston.     The 

traveler   on   the  railroad  from  Boston  to maJ?  to 

this  day,  see  Ellen  Baum  and  her  group  of  manly  sons 
and  lovely  daughters,  two  of  the  latter  having  families 
of  their  own.  But  the  golden  hair,  the  joyous  laugh, 
the  "  springing  motion  in  her  gait,"  her  beauty,  in 
short  all  save  the  affectionate,  earnest,  eloquent  eye 
that  wins,  as  it  won  in  youth,  the  hearts  of  all  who 
meet  her,  are  gone.  Daniel  Baum  rests  beside  the 
remains  of  his  sire,  which  he  had  taken  from  their  first 
resting-place,  some  years  before  his  own  death.  May 
they  rest  in  peace  ! 


CHAPTER  XV. 


TEE  SERVANTS. 


I  know  of  no  feature  of  life  in  the  south  better 
worthy  of  close  observation  and  the  most  thorough  study 
than  the  condition  and  character  of  the  negroes.  Who- 
ever does  not  so  observe  and  study  fails  to  understand 
the  most  important  parts  of  the  great  machine  of  social 
life,  and  must  be  wholly  ignorant  of  the  manner  and 
source  of  its  action.  If  the  stranger  be  an  abolitionist, 
whatever  be  his  benevolence,  his  sincerity,  and  his  zeal, 


142  nag's  head. 

without  careful  study  of  the  negro  character  they  would 
be,  to  a  great  extent,  lost,  because  of  the  ignorance  of 
his  benefactor.  If,  on  the  contrary,  you  look  upon 
slavery  as  an  institution  permitted  by  the  Deity,  as  one 
of  the  grades  of  social  life,  most  assuredly  are  the 
habits,  feelings,  tastes,  and  condition  of  the  negro 
worthy  of  careful  study. 

I  find,  in  the  intercourse  of  master  and  servant  here, 
far  more  genuine  kindness  and  sympathy  on  the  part  of 
the  master  than  at  the  North.  There  is  no  hesitation 
in  the  cordial  shake  of  the  hand,  when  they  meet  after 
a  short  absence.  There  is  no  uneasy  feeling  as  to  what 
Mrs.  Grundy  will  say  if  you  are  seen  talking,  walking, 
or  riding  with  a  negro.  There  is  none  of  the  fawning 
servility  on  the  part  of  the  latter  which  distinguishes 
so  many  of  their  brethren  at  the  North.  The  sick  are 
carefully  provided  for.  The  idle  and  the  vicious  usually 
escape  with  far  less  than  their  deserved  punishments. 
During  the  seven  months  of  my  residence  in  Carolina, 
I  have  seen  but  one  house-servant  struck;  and  the 
blow  was  a  box  on  the  ear.  The  only  other  instance  I 
have  seen  was  that  of  a  vicious  slave  flogged  at  the 
whipping-post. 

I  am  not  about  to  discuss  the  subject  of  slavery,  or  to 
defend  the  institution.  I  will  only  add  that  it  gives  me 
pleasure  to  say  that  I  find  the  condition  and  treatment 
of  the  slaves  a  thousandfold  better  than  I  expected. 


It  was  my  purpose,  merely,  in  devoting  a  chapter  to 
The  Servants,  to  give  some  account  of  some  two  or 
three  with  whom  I  was  most  in  contact,  And  first, 
there  is 


THE  SERVANTS.  143 


OLD  'TITIA. 


Her  peculiar  province,  in  the  domestic  empire,  is  the 
laundry.  You  may  see  her  almost  any  day  of  the  week, 
and  almost  any  time  of  the  day,  standing  just  outside 
the  kitchen  door,  underneath  a  dilapidated  porch  that 
looks  as  if  it  were  ready  to  fall  upon  her  head.  She  has 
an  old  pipe  in  her  mouth,  none  of  the  freshest  and 
tidiest  in  appearance,  I  am  sorry  to  say;  and  before  her 
is  either  the  washing-tub  or  the  ironing-table.  She  is  a 
sort  of  matriarch  among  the  negroes;  all  of  them  fearing 
or  liking  her.  Taciturn,  prompt,  decided,  there  is  a  flash 
in  her  black  eye  that  inspires  all  the  other  servants  with 
a  very  decided  respect.  JSTo  one  thinks  of  playing  or 
trifling  with  Old  'Titia,  (Letitia  is  the  full  name,  I  take 
it ;)  and  even  her  master  and  mistress  show  her  more 
deference  than  is  often  seen  in  the  treatment  of  the  do- 
mestics. 

For  her  physique,  she  is  strongly  made,  and  above 
the  middle  height.  To  me,  her  head  is  the  subject  of 
most  frequent  observation.  Ordinarily,  the  rebellious 
curls  are  tied  down,  gathered  compulsorily  in  a  knot  at 
the  back  of  the  head ;  but,  of  a  Sabbath-day,  or  when 
we  have  company,  the  ebon  locks  stand  out  manfully  for 
their  rights,  spread  in  unfettered  luxuriance,  and  give 
her  much  the  appearance  of  the  Pythoness  in  furore, 
or  a  South  Sea  Islander  prepared  for  a  dance,  as  we 
see  her  depicted  in  the  old  geographies.  On  such  occa- 
sions, there  is  a  deepening  of  the  wrinkles  between  the 
eyebrows,  more  than  wonted  dignity  of  gait,  and  a 
swing  that  would  not  disgrace  Pennsylvania  Avenue. 

Old  'Titia  is  a  sort  of  Dido  in  the  domestic  Carthage, 


144  nag's  head. 

"instans  operi."  Ever  and  anon,  in  the  most  of  her  toil, 
she  hums  snatches  of  old  hymns  in  a  low,  monotonous 
key.  Little  Simon,  the  baby  of  the  kitchen,  sometimes 
tunes  his  pipes  by  way  of  accompaniment ;  but  an  ad- 
monitory "Hush!"  a  glance  of  those  sharp  eyes,  and  a' 
raising  of  the  forefinger,  usually  discourage  that  minia- 
ture colored  gentleman  from  any  further  manifestations 
of  his  musical  skill. 

She  is  strictly  honest.  I  would  trust  her  with  any 
amount  of  money.  She  loves  a  joke,  and  enjoys  it  with 
infinite  relish.  Better  than  all,  I  believe  her  to  be 
truly  a  Christian.  Such  is  Old  'Titia.  During  my 
illness,  hers  was  the  hand  on  which  I  most  confidently 
relied  for  the  many  wants  of  the  sick-room.  Her 
look  was  full  of  kindness,  her  step  noiseless,  her  voice 
low  and  musical,  and  her  vigilance  and  attention  were 
unremitting.     May  her  shadow  never  be  less  ! 

BILL 

Is  another  of  our  domestics.  I  should  scarcely  have 
ventured  on  so  particular  a  notice  of  him  but  for  one 
or  two  very  strongly-marked  traits  of  character.  He 
is  a  short  and  somewhat  fat  negro,  some  twenty  years 
old,  peradventure.  Rather  an  Adonis  among  the  colored 
ladies,  Bill  affects  bijouterie;  wears  rings  in  his  ears; 
and,  if  my  memory  serve  me  faithfully,  a  breastpin. 
Indeed,  he  is  one  of  the  professed  lady-killers  here,  and 
wears  his  laurels  jauntily. 

But  there  is  another  trait  of  his  that  demands  more 
particular  notice.  At  the  age  of  fifteen,  Bill  was 
smitten  with  a  passion  for  music,  and,  true  to  the  whim- 


THE  SERVANTS.  145 

sicalities  of  musical  people,  chose  the  fife,  of  all  the  in- 
struments, as  best  befitting  "  the  lips  of  Phoebus." 

It  is  recorded  of  Columbus  that  some  eighteen  years 
of  persevering  effort  was  the  price  of  his  greatness. 
Fulton  was  scarcely  less  fortunate.  Emulous  of  such 
fortitude  and  perseverance,  Bill  has,  since  the  year 
'forty-five,  been  learning  to  play  the  fife.  Had  he 
foreseen  the  "series  longissima  rerum"  that  must  pre- 
cede the  desired  success,  I  do  believe  that  he  would 
have  abandoned  the  idea;  but  the  step  was  taken,  and 
for  looking  back! — it  was  not  a  thing  to  be  thought  of. 
With  indefatigable  energy  has  he  toiled  on,  the  frowns 
of  the  goddess  of  Harmony  to  the  contrary  notwith- 
standing; and  it  appears  to  have  been  reserved  to 
the  author  of  these  sketches  to  record  his  progress,  his 
feats  of  arms — and  fingers. 

It  has  not  escaped  the  observation  of  his  friends  that 
Bill's  organ  of  tune  is  exceedingly  small.  Worse  than 
this,  its  development,  from  years  of  assiduous  practice, 
gives  but  feeble  hopes  to  anybody,  save  himself,  that 
he  will  make  conquest  of  any  one  entire  strain  of  music. 
Certain  notes,  to  say  the  truth,  he  has  worsted;  and  in 
a  desperate  border-warfare  on  the  confines  of  "  Hail 
Columbia"  he  is  said  to  have  reduced  certain  outposts 
of  crotchets  and  quavers  to  a  very  critical  condition. 
Certain  notes,  too,  he  has  pressed  into  service.  But  his 
ranks  are  liable  at  any  moment  to  be  so  thinned  by 
desertion  as  to  leave  him  helpless.  I  am  informed,  but 
do  not  hold  myself  responsible  for  the  statement,  that 
he  has  this  summer  ventured  (emboldened,  it  would 
seem,  by  his  little  skirmishes  with  the  enemy)  on  a 
pitched  battle  with  a  detachment  of  the  main  army  of 
13 


146  nag's  head. 

La  Sonnambula,  to  the  utter  rout  and  discomfiture, 
though,  assuredly,  not  to  the  entire  conquest  thereof. 

If  I  may  change  the  figure,  Bill  can  never  sail  in  the 
wake  of  the  "  air''  he  is  in  pursuit  of.  His  fife  is  not 
at  all  a  weatherly  craft;  drifting  fearfully  to  leeward, 
and  requiring  half  a  gale  to  bring  out  her  sailing 
qualities.  Resolute,  nevertheless,  to  keep  in  the  enemy's 
wake,  and  at  times  (to  do  him  justice)  successful,  he 
will,  all  of  a  sudden,  yaw  off  three  or  four  points,  or 
else  be  "  all  in  the  wind ;"  lose  steerage  way,  it  may  be, 
and  flounder  "in  irons." 

A  compeer  of  his,  and  decidedly  a  character,  is 

ISAAC. 

He  is  a  boy  of  about  fourteen  years  of  age,  and  a 
mulatto.  He  is  intelligent,  and  naturally  active ;  with 
a  shrewdness  worthy  an  older  head.  I  may  safely  set 
it  down,  as  one  of  the  most  prominent  of  his  distinguish- 
ing traits  of  character,  that  he  is  never  to  be  found  at 
the  precise  period  of  time  when  he  is  wanted.  How 
many  times  a  day  do  I  hear  Maria,  the  cook,  calling,  at 
the  top  of  her  voice, 

"Mk!  Izik!  IZIK!" 

There  is  usually  no  reply ;  but,  after  the  lapse  of  from 
five  to  thirty  minutes,  the  unconscious  Isaac  walks  into 
the  kitchen  as  coolly  as  if  ears  had  been  wanting  in  the 
inventory  of  his  chattels  personal.  Under  no  circum- 
stances does  his  eye  fall  before  your  own.  No  blow 
could  make  his  ire  visible,  save  in  the  more  intense 
glistening  of  his  Spanish  eyes.  He  has  a  low,  musical 
voice,  and  is  an  excellent  waiter  for  any  one  whom  he 
happens  to  like. 


THE  SERVANTS.  147 

I  should  not  omit  to  say  that  he  has  one  other  quality 
in  perfection,  which  is  an  amiable  weakness  in  most  of 
his  brethren.  I  allude  to  the  power  which  he  manifests, 
to  consume  more  minutes,  or  hours,  in  blacking  one's 
boots,  going  for  letters  and  papers,  or  a  pail  of  water, 
than  any  individual  whom  it  has  been  my  privilege  to 
meet. 

With  no  farther  mention  of  Harriet  and  Cely  than 
the  statement  that  both  are  excellent  servants,  I  close 
these  notices  of  the  servants  by  a  word  or  two  concern- 
ing 

OLD  JEFF. 

Imprimis:  The  name  Jeff,  I  take  it,  is  an  abbreviation 
of  Jefferson.  Jeff  is,  I  think,  verging  closely  to  the 
last  of  "  the  thirties.''  He  is  a  short,  Sancho  Panza-like, 
squatty  negro ;  as  irascible  as  a  violinist  or  a  school- 
master. In  ludicrous  contrast  to  his  diminutive  stature, 
is  a  rough,  deep,  heavy  voice,  of  a  prevailing  tone 
approaching  to  oratund.  He  is  a  man  of  business ; 
bustling,  fidgety,  authoritative ;  loves  a  joke,  and  has  a 
weakness  for  "mountain  clew''  and  Old  Monongahela. 
With  all  his  faults,  however,  old  Jeff  is  a  jewel  of  a 
servant,  if  allowed  to  have,  occasionally,  the  bent  of 
his  humor.  I  cannot  close  these  desultory  observations 
concerning  the  servants  without  saying  how  much  I 
have  been  disappointed  in  my  estimate  of  them  and  of 
their  condition.  I  had  been  taught  to  suppose  that  I 
should  find  them  sullen,  revengeful,  crouching,  and 
unhappy.  My  surprise,  then,  may  be  imagined  in  find- 
ing them  ignorant  indeed,  but  affectionate,  docile,  faith- 
ful ;  and,  in  most  cases,  to  all  appearance,  contented 
and  happy. 


148  nag's  head. 

In  my  own  intercourse  with  them,  which  has  been,  of 
necessity,  somewhat  limited,  I  am  glad  to  say  that  I 
have  found  them  almost  uniformly  respectful,  obliging, 
patient,  and  faithful.  I  owe — and  who  does  not? — much 
to  them.  A  kind  word,  or  a  smile,  is  the  only  reward 
they  expect.  In  sickness,  they  are  ever  ready  to  do  all 
in  their  power.  The  boy  Isaac  repeatedly  slept  on  the 
floor  in  my  chamber  when  I  was  sick,  and  never  mani- 
fested the  slightest  impatience  or  sullenness  in  being 
robbed  of  his  accustomed  and  needful  hours  of  repose. 
May  the  day  soon  come  when  they  shall  all  peacefully 
be  made  free ! 

Let  the  true  friend  of  his  race  teach  the  young  the 
solution  of  the  once  mysterious  problem  of  life,  by  giv- 
ing them  the  truth  on  which  "  hang  all  the  law  and  the 
prophets."  "Let  but  the  principles  of  the  Gospel  pre- 
vail," said  an  eloquent  divine,  "  and  the  fetters  of  the 
slave  would  fall  to  the  ground.  Fall,  did  I  say?  They 
would  melt  from  off  his  limbs !" 

I  cannot  forbear,  in  conclusion,  quoting  the  eloquent 
language  of  the  brilliant,  earnest,  large-hearted  John 
Weiss,  of  Massachusetts.  In  speaking  of  the  reforms, 
he  says, 

"  What  will  he  this  future  idea,  or  movement,  so 
mighty  as  to  surpass  conventional  barriers,  and  make 
of  one  blood  all  the  nations  of  men  ?"  *  *  *  "  It 
will  result  from  no  single  movement.  Its  germ  will 
be  no  idea  of  the  intellect.  It  will  be  the  consequence 
of  no  congress  of  nations,  no  arbitration,  no  politi- 
cal compromise.  It  will  result  from  a  simple  faith  in 
moral  principles."  *  *  *  "  Teach  men  that  this 
common  goodness  is  the  secret  of  common  harmony; 
*  *  *  teach  them  that  only  kind  of  truth  which  sancti- 


THE  FRESH  PONDS.  149 

fies,  and  they  will  rush  together  like  kindred  atoms. 
*  *  *  rpke  S£a£e  snaJi  be  the  world ;  the  nation  will  be 
all  mankind ;  the  Church  of  God  will  be  builded  out  of 
human  hearts,  which  are  made  of  one  color,  and  are 
full  of  one  blood,  and  whose  pulses  beat  with  equal 
motion  beneath  the  shadow  of  the  iceberg  and  the 
palm." 

I  believe  the  day  to  be  not  far  distant  when  the  fair 
Tree  of  Liberty  shall  gather  all  kindreds  and  tongues 
beneath  its  ample  shade.     Freedom  is  progressive. 

"  Its  growth  is  of  the  cedar, 

That  knoweth  not  decay ; 
Its  top  shall  bless  the  mountain 

Till  mountains  pass  away. 
Its  top  shall  greet  the  sunshine, 

Its  leaves  shall  drink  the  rain, 
Till  on  its  blessed  branches 

The  Slave  shall  hang  his  chain." 


CHAPTER  XVI. 


THE  FRESH  PONDS. 


About  three  miles  from  the  Hotel,  and  about  mid- 
way between  Albemarle  Sound  and  the  sea,  are  several 
ponds  of  fresh  water.  In  the  golden  age  of  Nag-'s 
Head,  videlicet,  in  its  early  day,  they  are  said  to  have 
been  full  of  the  finest  fish.  On  almost  any  day  in  Au- 
gust or  September,  you  might  have  found  half  a  score 
of  resolute  anglers,  patiently  plying  their  taciturn  voca- 

13* 


150  nag's  head. 

tion  in  the  shade  of  overhanging  trees.  Many  and  won- 
derful are  the  legends,  wherewithal  my  ears  have  been 
regaled,  of  scores  on  scores,  as  the  grasshoppers  for  mul- 
titude, that  some  veteran  knight  of  the  hook  and  line 
has  caught  "between  sun  and  sun." 

As  with  most  other  things  earthly,  "  those  good  old 
days"  have  carried  away  with  them  the  glory  of  the 
Fresh  Ponds.  There  are  fish  yet,  and  in  plenty;  but 
they  are  small ;  and  fishing  at  the  Ponds  now  does  duty 
as  symphony  or  interlude  to  the  pic-nic  opera;  (this 
last  word  being  translated  somewhat  more  literally  than 
usual.)  The  Ponds  are  now  as  frequent  a  resort,  per- 
haps, as  they  ever  were;  but  for  pleasure  excursions, 
and  not  for  fishing. 

The  first  sound  that  met  my  ear  this  morning,  just  as 
the  first  rays  of  the  sun  were  peering  into  our  little  dor- 
mitory, was  the  voice  of  S ,  who  opened  my  door 

with  a 

"  Wont  you,  Mr.  Seaworthy?  Now  say  you  will. 
You  will,  wont  you?" 

"  Without  the  least  doubt  I  will,  my  dear  S ;  but 

what  is  it  ?" 

"  So,  you  didn't  hear  me  ?  You  sleep  soundly  this 
morning.  I  was  asking  you  if  you  wouldn't  join  us  in 
a  pic-nic  to  the  Fresh  Ponds." 

"  The  very  place  I've  been  wishing  to  visit.  You'll 
be  away  soon,  I  suppose." 

"  Immediately ;  that  is  to  say,  as  soon  as  Isaac  and 
old  Jeff  can  get  the  buggy  and  cart,  and  borrow  a  horse 

for  you  from  Mr..  C ;  and  that  is  to  say,  about  nine 

o'clock."     And  S left  me. 

The  note  of  preparation — don't  somebody  call  it  so? — 
was  soon  audible.     All  manner  of  victuals  and  refresh- 


THE  FRESH  PONDS.  151 

merits,  fish,  flesh,  foul,  pies,  cake,  brandy,  claret,  pic- 
kles, salt  and  pepper  were  in  requisition.  A  frying-pan 
and  jug  of  water  were  added  to  the  other  articles;  and 

about  nine  o'clock,  as  S had  predicted,  forth  went 

our  caravan  along  the  shore  of  the  Sound.  After  riding 
half  a  league  on  the  shore,  we  turned  our  faces  inland, 
and  passed  through  the  finest  part  of  "the  up-guoines," 
as  the  Bankers  are  pleased  to  call  the  hill-country,  which 
I  have  yet  seen.  The  road  was  sandy,  indeed,  but  wound 
pleasantly  over  hill  and  through  valley  till  we  reached 
the  Ponds. 

On  our  arrival,  our  party  was  found  to  number  twelve. 

Mrs.  W ,  Miss  G ,  the  Misses  C ,  Dr.  A , 

my  friend  and  chum  C ,  J ,  young  G ,  Dr. 

M ,  Rev.  Mr.  F ,  and  myself. 

Fortunate  for  us  that  Dr.  A was  with  us ;  for, 

with  an  energy  worthy — of  a  better  cause,  I  was  about 
to  say — of  the  occasion,  he  not  only  began  fitting  hooks, 
lines,  and  poles,  but  set  everybody  else  at  work.  It 
was  not  long  before  divers  young  ladies  and  gentlemen, 
and  some  older  ones,  might  have  been  seen  (that's  the 
phrase,  I  believe,  in  your  genuine  narrative  style), 
wending  their  way,  with  grave  but  earnest  faces,  and 
with  malice  prepense  at  their  hearts,  towards  the  scaly 
community  there  dwelling  and  residing.  The  hooks 
were  baited  with  bacon,  and  thrown  into  the  water. 
And  then  came  a  very  solemn  pause !  The  party  to 
which  I  had  trusted  my  fortunes  were  unsuccessful.     I 

made  my  retreat.     Dr.  A and  his  companions  had 

been  more  fortunate ;  and,  in  all,  near  a  hundred  small 
fish  were  the  victims  of  our  piscatory  skill. 

In  the  division  of  labor  made  on  the  occasion,  it  fell 
to  my  lot  to  be  a  gatherer  of  fagots  and  the  builder  of 


152  nag's  head. 

fires;  while  to  our  clerical  friend,  who  enjoyed  the  thing 
to  the  full,  was  allotted  the  labor  of  the  cuisine.  And 
soon,  fragrantly  to  our  nostrils,  came  the  appetite-pro- 
voking savor  of  bacon  and  fish.  A  cart  was  drawn  up 
to  the  buggy,  and  on  the  thills  we  placed  a  few  pieces 
of  boards  to  serve  as  a  table.  The  feast  was  spread, 
and  the  havoc  began — and  was  finished. 

It  was  not  until  towards  sunset  that  we  began  our 
journey  homewards.  It  was  agreed  on  all  hands  that 
we  had  had  "  a  most  delightful  time."  How  delightful 
it  was  to  me,  and  wherefore  so,  are  points  that  I  re- 
serve for  my  father- confessor. 


Since  the  excursion  above  described,  I  have  again 
visited  the  Fresh  Ponds.  The  lapse  of  a  few  weeks 
merely  had  given  the  tjnge  of  the  past  to  the  former 
excursion ;  and  the  thought  of  it,  and  the  familiar  faces 
that  had  left  us,  made  me  sad  for  the  remainder  of  the 
day. 

I  remember  singing,  on  the  occasion,  a  favorite  song, 

"  Hark  !  brothers,  hark  V 

which   I   had  last   heard  on  our  way  home  from  the 
Ponds. 

"  Didn't  Miss  C sing  that  well  ?"  said  J ab- 
ruptly, after  accompanying  me  in  the  song.  And  the 
words,  and  the  air,  and  the  scene  led  me  into  a  long 
reverie  about  "  the  old  familiar  faces  :" 

"How  some  they  have  died,  and  some  they  have  left  me, 
And  some  have  been  taken  from  me  ;  all  are  departed  ; 
All,  all  are  gone,  the  old  familiar  faces  V 

I  remember,  too,  that  I  went  to  a  particular  tree, 
an  evergreen,  and  plucked  from  one  of  its  lowermost 


AN  EXCURSION  TO  THE  INLET.  153 

branches  a  leaf  such  as had  plucked  from  it,  and 

given  to  me.  I  could  not  talk  as  we  rode  homeward. 
I  watched  the  wheels  of  our  venerable  vehicle  as  they 
rolled,  with  a  monotonous  whine,  through  the  dry  sun- 
heated  sand.  I  looked  at  the  sky  and  the  clouds  ;  at 
the  woods ;  at  the  Sound  ;  at  our  Rosinante,  then  ap- 
parently in  a  dangerous  stage  of  decline :  at  all  things 
visible  ;    but  in  vain.     The  memory  of  the  first  visit 

would  intrude  ;  and  J declared  himself  bored  by 

my  presence  and  sluggish  taciturnity.  Shall  I  ever  see 
them  all  again,  I  wonder  ? 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

AN  EXCURSION  TO  THE  INLET. 
"  Rursus  again  pelago  V 

Some  three  or  four  leagues  southward  from  Nag's 
Head,  as  the  reader  will  see  by  the  maps,  is  the  New 
Inlet.  If  I  am  rightly  informed,  there  have  been 
several  inlets  from  the  ocean  into  the  cordon  of  sounds 
on  the  coast  of  the  Carolinas,  which  are  now  filled  up. 
Such  is  the  case  with  Currituck  Inlet.  What  is  called 
New  Inlet  has  not  been  long  open,  and  it  is  both  narrow 
and  shallow.  The  only  light-house,  for  leagues  along 
the  coast,  is  quite  near  it. 

It  is  usually  thought  almost  indispensable  for  the 
stranger  at  Nag's  Head  ;  and  it  is  by  no  means  un- 
common for  the  oldest  residents  to  pay  a  visit  to  the 


154  nag's  head. 

New  Inlet.  I  had,  therefore,  from  the  first,  counted 
upon  the  excursion  as  an  event  that  would  certainly 
occur.  I  was  prevented  from  going  until  yesterday ; 
and  am  seated  now  to  give,  in  all  their  primitive 
freshness,  my  "  first  impressions"  of  the  trip. 

For  the  last  few  days,  one  family  after  another  has 
left  Nag's  Head  for  home.  Yesterday  was  the  day 
appointed  for  the  departure  of  our  excellent  neighbor, 

Mr.  N ;  and  when  I  went  out  upon  the  sand-hills 

yesterday  morning,  the  little  Fox,  the  packet,  was  lying 
abreast  of  our  landing  with  nearly  all  Mr.  N 's  fur- 
niture on  board.  There  were  some  half  a  score  of 
negroes  returning  to  and  fro,  and  the  boats  were  plying 
off  and  on  in  the  hurry  of  departure. 

It  was  agreed  that  the  ladies  should  go  off  to  the 
packet  in  my  friend  W 's  boat.  She  was  accord- 
ingly loosed  from  her  moorings,  and  brought  within 
some  two  or  three  rods  of  the  shore.     The  ladies  rode 

off  to  her  in  a  cart,  and  Mr.  N ,  his  son  Dr.  N , 

and  myself  followed  them.  We  got  under  way  with  a 
fresh  breeze  and  stood  for  the  packet.  We  were  not 
long  in  making  the  discovery  that  we  could  not  "  fetch,'' 
and  therefore  ran  under  stern  of  the  Fox,  and  a  short 
distance  beyond  her,  with  the  intention  of  tacking,  and 
running  alongside  the  packet  on  the  larboard  tack.  So 
deeply  laden  was  our  boat  that  she  missed  stays.  We 
had  no  oar,  and  she  refused  to  "jibe."    And  thereupon 

ensued  a  delicious  state  of  confusion  ;  Mr. quieting 

the  fear  of  ladies  ;  one  recommending  the  expedient  of 
letting  go  the  jib  halyard,  and  another  that  of  waring 

ship.     While  in  the  quandary,  young  N came  to 

our  assistance  with  a  boat  and  two  stout  oarsmen ;  and 


AN  EXCURSION  TO  THE  INLET.  155 

making  our  painter  fast  in  the  stern  sheets,  he  toived 
our  vessel  round,  and  we  arrived  safely  alongside  the 
packet. 

With  such  experience  of  a  pleasure  excursion  with 
the  boat,  I  had  resolved  to  disembark  at  the  earliest 
opportunity ;  but  when  we  returned  to  the  landing,  my 
friend  the  doctor  prevailed  on  me  to  sail  a  little  longer. 
On  our  second  return  to  the  shore,  the  children  came 
running  down  the  hill,  and  announced  to  us  that  the 
whole  family  were  making  arrangements  to  go  to  the 

Inlet.     Mr.   W ,  the   children,  Dr.   M.,  a  servant, 

Isaac,  the  fisherman,  and  myself  were  to  go  into  the 

boat,  while  J and  the  ladies  were  to  go  in  the  buggy 

and  cart  along  the  sea-shore. 

Accordingly,  a  jug  of  fresh  water  and  pail  of  pro- 
visions, together  with  provender  for  the  horses,  were 
put  on  board.  In  an  hour  we  were  ready,  and  got 
under  way  with  a  smacking  breeze  on  our  starboard 
quarter. 

Away  we  went  in  fine  style;  and  though  I  had  many 
an  anxious  throb  of  solicitude  for  the  dilapidated  old 
structure  of  canvas  and  stitches,  "  by  the  courtesy" 
called  a  sail,  I  oftener  laughed  at  some  humorous  sally 

from  Y and  S .     We  were  under  the  Palinurian 

auspices  of  Dr.  M ,  my  friend  W most  unequi- 
vocally declaring,  at  intervals,  through  the  day,  that 
"he  was  only  a  passenger!"  The  boy  Isaac  (not  the 
house-servant)  seemed  to  have  caught  the  prevailing 
tone  of  good  humor  (a  fair  wind  makes  everybody  good- 
humored),  and  he  amused  himself  in  depicting  to  his 
fellow-servant,  in  graphic  style,  the  peculiar  joys  of 
sea-sickness.     We  had  "  a  beautiful  run  of  it."     Rather 


156  nag's  head. 

a  long  one,  indeed,  and  longer  than  we  had  anticipated; 
and  Isaac  did  not  materially  shorten  the  apparent  dis- 
tance by  his  constant  attention  to  Y and  S 

that  we  were  not  yet  "half-way  to  de  Inlet." 

0  for  that  gift  of  second  sight  so  seldom  enjoyed 
in  these  degenerate  modern  times  !  0  for  the  Chal- 
dee's  skill  in  reading  the  pages  of  "  the  poetry  of 
Heaven!"  0  for  one  of  those  magic  stones,  or  glasses, 
in  which  men  have  gazed  and  read  the  future ! 

We  had  relied  on  Isaac  as  a  pilot,  for  he  had  been  to 

the  Inlet,  as,  indeed,  had  Mr.  W ;  but  neither  of 

them  remembered  the  channel ;  and  in  the  full  tide  of 
pleasant  anticipations  (for  the  light-house  was  plainly 
in  sight),  we  ran  aground  on  an  immense  bar  !  By  dint 
of  a  little  labor  we  contrived  to  force  the  boat  along 
for  another  furlong,  and  then  she  flatly  refused  to  budge 

another  inch.     Dr.   M ,  Isaac,  and  myself  sprang 

overboard,  and  dragged  her  along  for,  perhaps,  half 
a  mile,  when  the  water  had  become  so  shallow  as  to 
make  it  impossible  to  proceed,  at  least  with  my  friend 

W 's  aldermanic  weight  in  the  boat.     I  thought  it 

a  little  ungenerous  of  him  not  to  share  our  toil;  but,  as 
the  doctor  had  made  some  unmistakable  allusions  to  the 
quantity  of  ballast,  I  said  nothing. 

Was  it  Solomon  who  broached  the  theory  that  "  in 
the  multitude  of  counselors  there  is  safety?"  It  may 
be  true  enough  on  shore,  for  aught  I  know ;  but  on  a 
pleasure  excursion,   the  doctrine  does  not  hold  good. 

I  was   for  having  Mr.  W get  out  of  the  boat,  in 

order  that  we  might,  at  least,  get  V and  S on 

shore  at  the  light-house,  whence  they  could  easily  get 
home.     Besides  this  plan,  there  were  several  others. 


AN  EXCURSION  TO  THE  INLET.         157 

Dr.  M thought  the  channel  was  farther  on  :  Mr. 

W thought  we  had  passed  it. 

At  length  it  was  reluctantly  decided  that  we  should 
drag  the  boat  off  towards  the  broad  sound — reluctantly, 
I  say,  for  we  thought  we  saw  the  ladies  on  the  shore. 
Fortunately  for  them,  they  had  divided  the  refresh- 
ments, and  carried  the  dessert  in  the  vehicles. 

After  dragging  the  boat  over  the  sand  for  nearly 
half  a  mile  (it  seemed  a  league  to  me),  she  at  last 
floated,  and  we  stood  over  to  the  western  shore  of  the 
sound.  The  wind  was  ahead,  the  afternoon  was  far  on 
the  wane,  and,  to  complete  the  unpleasant  features  of 
the  prospect,  the  tide  was  running  "  like  a  mill-race" — 
the  wrong  way  !  We  gained  slowly,  however,  and 
possibly  might  have  "  beat''  home  before  the  ensuing 
Sabbath — the  day  being  Thursday. 

As  we  approached  the  western  shore  on  the  starboard 
tack,  the  strap  which  held  the  sprit  to  the  mast  parted, 
and  the  sprit  dashed  down  with  a  dull  thump  through 
the  bottom  of  the  boat !  The  water  came  rushing  in 
at  a  fearful  rate.  I  gave  Isaac  my  handkerchief,  to 
which  he  added  his  own,  and  in  this  way  we  reached 
the  shore  (a  marsh),  and  hauled  the  boat  up  to  repair 
damages.  We  accomplished  this  but  imperfectly,  as  a 
matter  of  course,  inasmuch  as  we  had  neither  tools  nor 
materials.  We  ventured,  however,  on  embarking  again, 
and  after  making  one  or  two  stretches,  during  which  it 
was  necessary  to  bail  with  a  bucket,  and  in  which  we 
"  fetched"  the  very  place  where  we  got  under  way,  we 
again  resorted  to  the  expedient  of  towing.  But  slow 
progress  made  we  in  the  reeds  and  mud,  and,  as  the  sun 
must  soon  set,  our  situation  was  becoming  desperate. 
14 


158  nag's  head. 

V and  S were  tired,  too,  and  the  spirits  of  the 


whole  party  were  at  zero.     What  should  we  do  ? 

"  Sail  0  !''  was  the  welcome  cry,  as  we  stood  unde- 
cided ;  and  presently  a  small  "  dug-out"  from  Hyde* 
came  ploughing  along,  with  her  jib  out-rigged  like  a 

lower   studding-sail.     Luckily,  Dr.    M knew  one 

of  the  gentlemen  aboard.  We  hailed  her,  and  she  ran 
down   to   us.     We   briefly   explained    our   situation  to 

them,  and  my  friend  W very  pathetically  threw 

his  disconsolate  self  and  no  less  miserable  party  upon 
their  mercy.  One  of  them,  a  fine,  hearty  fellow,  imme- 
diately attempted — coolly  smoking  his  pipe  meanwhile — 
to  repair  our  damages;  but  in  vain ;  and,  although  it 
was  a  very  serious  inconvenience  to  him,  consented  to 
convey  us  either  to  Eoanoke  Island  or  to  Nag's  Head. 
His  companion,  who  was  in  a  great  hurry  to  get  home, 

was  not  quite  so  deeply  impressed  with  Mr.  W 's 

eloquence ;  and  when  the  decision  was  announced,  he 
exclaimed,  with  an  emphasis  and  energy  which  make 
me  laugh  even  now  when  I  think  of  them,  uBod  rot 
it  all!  Bod  dog  the  luck!"  The  reader  can  translate 
the  exclamation. 

As  we  stood  out  from  the  shore,  two  other  boats 
hove  in  sight ;  both  evidently  bound  northward.  It 
was  then  decided,  after  some  discussion,  that  we  should 
speak  one  of  them;  and  if  she  would  not  take  us  to 
Nag's  Head,  our  deliverers  would  do  so — our  tall  friend 
who  had  come  so  nigh  swearing,  declaring  that  he 
would  see  us  safely  home,  "if  it  took  a  week." 
Fortunately,  the  skipper  of  the  boat  which  we  spoke 

*  The  North  Carolinians  say  Hyde,  Hertford,  Bertie,  &c.,  and 
not  Hyde  county,  Bertie  county,  &c. 


AMUSEMENTS.  159 

consented  to  take  us,  and  we  were  soon  on  board. 
Bidding  our  Hjde  county  friends  good-bye,  we  were 
soon  under  way  homeward. 

The  wind  partially  failed,  and  we  made  but  poor 
progress.  We  were  chilly,  wet,  hungry,  and  fatigued. 
The  poles  were  got  out,  and  what  with  them  and  the 

breeze,  we  at  last  reached  the  landing.     Mrs.  W 

was  on  the  shore  to  welcome  us.  We  paid  the  skipper 
a  liberal  price  for  his  trouble,  and  invited  him  to  sup 
with  us ;  but  he  was  anxious  to  reach  Elizabeth  City 
with  his  little  cargo  of  corned  mullets,  and  he  bade  us 
good  night,  and  got  under  way.  With  womanly  fore- 
sight, Mrs.  W had  prepared  us  a  hot  supper.     A 

bowl  of  whisky-punch,  an  excellent  dish  of  coffee, 
with  other  more  substantial  fare,  went  far  to  recruit 
our  strength  and  spirits ;  and  with  many  a  laugh  over 
our  misfortunes,  and  many  a  desperate  resolve  never 
again  to  go  on  a  pleasure  excursion  to  the  New  Inlet 
again — by  water,  we  retired  to  rest. 

"Forsan  et  Ticec,  olim,  meminisse  juvabit," 

thought  I,  as  I  laid  my  aching,  ague-stricken  limbs 
upon  the  bed; and  I  slept. 


CHAPTER    XVIII. 

AMUSEMENTS. 


The  amusements  at  all  watering-places  are,  as  far 
i  I  happen  to  know,  much  the  same.     There  are,  how- 


160  nag's  head. 

ever,  some  points  in  which  those  of  Nag's  Head  are 
somewhat  peculiar.  Gentlemen  who  are  fond  of  fox- 
hunting bring  their  horses  and  hounds,  and  go  gallop- 
ing over  the  treacherous  sands,  much  to  the  hazard  of 
both  horse  and  rider.  The  disciples  of  Walton  and 
Stoddart  can  fish  here  without  the  aid  of  the  "Complete 
Angler,"  and  catch  an  abundant  supply.  Then  there  are 
excursions  to  the  Fresh  Ponds,  to  Roanoke  Island,  Kill- 
Devil  Hills,  and  the  New  Inlet.  Bathing  occupies, 
too,  and  right  pleasantly,  many  an  hour  that  might  else 
hang  heavily  upon  one's  hands.  Then  there  is  the 
drive  on  the  beach,  or,  if  you  prefer  it,  the  walk; 
alone,  in  the 

"  Society  where  none  intrudes, 
By  the  deep  sea," 

or  with  one  or  more  companions  of  your  own  choosing. 
Besides  these,  there  is  a  bowling-alley,  where  the 
boarders  from  the  hotel  and  the  residents  from  the 
hills  meet  at  nine  or  ten  in  the  forenoon,  and  remain 
until  the  dinner  hour. 

But  the  centre  of  attraction  is  the  hotel.  A  siesta 
after  the  late  dinner  leaves  you  time  for  a  short  stroll 
about  sunset;  and  after  tea,  dressing  is  the  universal 
occupation.  At  length,  sometimes  as  early  as  eight 
o'clock,  but  oftener  at  nine,  or  a  later  hour,  the 
musician  makes  his  appearance.  The  twang  of  the 
strings,  even,  as  he  tunes  it,  is  enough  to  call  the  little 
folks  around  him ;  and  it  is  not  long  before  the  ladies 
make  their  appearance ;  the  sets  are  formed,  and  the 
long-drawn  "Balance,  all!"  gives  the  glow  of  pleasure 
to  every  face. 

It  was  my  delight,  albeit  I  am  a  quiet  sort  of  man, 


THE  BANKERS.  161 

grateful  always,  like  the  man  in  "  The  Spectator,''  to 
those  who  will  not  speak  to  me  when  I  am  not  "  i'  the 
vein"  of  conversation,  to  obtain  a  seat  in  the  corner  and 
look  at  the  dancers.  Charmed  by  the  gayeties  of  the 
dancing-saloon,  I  once  forgot  my  years  and  gravity  so 
far  as  to  make  a  promise  to  a  young  lady  that  I  would 
go  to  the  hotel  the  next  day  and  learn  the  figures.  I 
had  a  chill  the  next  day,  and  my  dignity  survived 
the  threatened  fall. 

Upon  these  amusements  there  are  some  very  serious 
drawbacks,  among  the  most  serious  of  which  is  the 
constant  loss  of  familiar  faces.  You  meet  a  pleasant 
acquaintance  the  first  week  of  your  stay,  and  he  is  gone 
with  the  next  packet.  Then  there  is  the  sand,  through 
which  it  is  so  hard  to  walk  or  ride,  and  which  is  always 
filling  one's  eyes  and  shoes.  The  wind  blows  almost  con- 
stantly, forgetting  now  and  then  all  its  decorum,  and 
performing  all  sorts  of  mad  antics  on  land  and  sea.  In 
conclusion,  permit  me  to  apologize,  worthy  reader,  for 
the  omission  of  what  may  be  called,  par  excellence,  the 
amusement  at  Nag's  Head.  That  ever  I  should  have 
forgotten  the  staple  of  fun — the  State-patronized  frolic 
— the  chills  and  fever  !  chacun  a  son  gout  ! 


CHAPTER  XIX. 


THE    BANKERS. 


It  is  very  possible  that  the  reader  has  been,  ere  this, 
comparing  me  to  the  manager  who  announced  for  the 

14* 


162  nag's  head. 

evening  "  the  play  of  Hamlet,  with  the  part  of  Ham- 
let left  out."  Where,  who,  and  what  are  the  bank- 
ers ? 

Where,  indeed  ?  I  have  made  but  scanty  mention  of 
them,  and  the  two  months  are  well  nigh  gone.  I  accept 
the  reproof.  To  say  the  truth,  I  have  seen  but  little 
of  them.  True,  I  know  that  they  are  the  landholders 
along  the  ridge  of  land  that  serves  as  a  natural  break- 
water for  the  protection  of  the  chain  of  sounds  on  the 
coast  of  Carolina.  I  have  seen  them  mending  their 
nets,  I  have  chatted  with  them,  and  yet  I  know  but 
little  of  their  character  and  habits.     My  friend  Dr. 

A tells  me  that  many  of  them  are  miserably  poor, 

and  that  he  not  unfrequently  prescribes  (and,  to  his 
credit,  puts  up  and  sends  the  prescription)  simply  a  little 
wholesome  food.  Many  of  them,  he  informs  me,  have 
most  singular  prejudices  concerning  medicine.  He 
filled  a  small  phial  with  a  mixture  for  a  child,  the  other 
day.  The  next  morning  the  sister  of  the  little  patient 
came  for  more  medicine. 

"  More  medicine  ?"  exclaimed  the  doctor  ;  "  why,  he 
hasn't  taken  all  I  left  yesterday?" 

"  No  sir  !  Ma  says  how't  they  shan't  nary  dray  on't 
go  in-TO  him  ;  and  she  wants  some  other  sort  o'  doc- 
tor stuff!" 

Altogether,  they  seem  to  be  a  peculiar  people.  They 
are  isolated  from  the  social  intercourse,  which,  in  the 
more  densely-peopled  communities  of  the  mainland, 
refines  and  elevates  the  individual.  They  look  very 
jealously,  I  am  told,  upon  strangers  ;  but  are  clannish, 
and  therefore  honest  and  social  among  themselves. 


T  had  written  thus  far  this  morning,  when  I  was  sum- 


THE  BANKEKS.  163 

moned  to  breakfast.  As  I  was  finishing  my  second  cup 
of  coffee,  I  heard  the  gruff  tones  of  old  Jack.  On  going 
out,  I  found  him  chaffering  with  one  of  the  bankers 
about  the  price  of  some  figs.  The  bargain  was  at 
length  satisfactorily  closed. 

"Jack,"  said  I. 

"  Sah,  your  servant,  maussa." 

"What  do  you  think  of  these  bankers?" 

"  What  do  I  tink  ?  I  isn't  got  but  one  'pinion  'bout 
dat,  Maussa  Gregory;  an'  dat  is,  dey  is  de  triflin'est, 
laziest,  most  onaccommodatin'- " 

"Not  all  of  them?" 

"No,  maussa;  not  exactly  all  on  'em;  but  when  you 
takes  away  all  of  de  bad  sort,  dey  isn't  any  left !"  And 
Jack  chuckled  at  the  waggery  of  his  description. 

"Does  you  know  dat  man  I  bought  de  figs  of,  Maussa 
Gregory?" 

"No." 

"Well,  he's  de  son  of  a  man  dat  was  a  man  o'  some 
account.    Did  I  ever  spin  you,  Maussa  John,"  continued 

he,  addressing  my  friend  W ,  who  had  joined  us  at 

that  moment,  "de  yarn  ob  Cap'n  Somes,  dat  was  de 
skipper  ob  de  Anson  Bentley  in  de  las'  war?" 

"  I  reckon  not,  Jack." 

"  Wal,  dat  feller's  his  son.  More's  de  pity  he  ain't 
more  like  his  father  was !" 

"Give  us  the  yarn,  Jack." 

"Ise  mighty  dry  dis  mornin',  Maussa  John !" 

Jack's  thirst  was  appeased,  though  not  "  strictly  in 
accordance  with  temperance  principles,"  and  he  gave 
us  the  following  story: — 


164  nag's  head. 


JASPER  SOMES ;  OR,  A  FIGHT  IN  THE  STAY-SAIL 
NETTING. 

I  take  the  liberty  to  translate  the  story,  as  it  will 
save  the  necessity  of  deciphering  it  from  the  peculiar 
dialect  of  the  gruff  old  sailor,  and  enable  me  to  spare 
the  reader  many  an  unnecessary  digression. 


It  was,  then,  during  "the  last  war,"  as  the  war  of 
1812  is  usually  called — and  the  precise  date  is  here  of 
no  possible  importance — that  Jasper  Somes  was  given 
the  command  of  a  small  brig,  of  some  two  hundred  and 
forty  tons  burthen,  pierced  for  twelve  guns,  and  pro- 
vided with  a  swivel,  and  the  necessary  munitions  of  a 
man-o'-war. 

He  had  been  a  cabin-boy  on  board  an  English  vessel 
in  his  boyhood.  The  New  World  found  favor  in  his 
eyes,  and  having  few  ties  to  bind  him  to  the  mother 
country  (for  he  was  an  orphan),  the  tales  he  hadheard 
of  the  ease  and  rapidity  with  which  merit  made  its  way 
from  the  forecastle  to  the  quarter-deck,  and  of  the  cer- 
tainty with  which  wealth  followed  promotion,  had  con- 
firmed his  resolution  to  seek  his  fortune  under  the  new 
flag.  Nor  was  he  disappointed.  On  obtaining  his  dis- 
charge at  Norfolk  (and  this  was  not  easily  effected,  for 
he  was  a  general  favorite  with  officers  and  crew),  he 
met,  by  sheer  accident,  with  one  Captain  John  Hen- 
derson. 

The  boy  was  strolling  about  the  wharf,  where  several 
West  Indiamen  were  lying,  nearly  ready  for  sea.  He 
happened  to  attract  the  notice  of  Captain  Henderson, 
who  had  just  been  superintending  the  sending-up  of  a 


THE  BANKERS.  165 

new  foretoproast,  and  was  leaving  the  vessel  when  his 
eye  fell  upon  young  Somes. 

"  Well,  my  lad,"  said  the  captain,  "how  do  you  like 
the  looks  of  that  ship  ?" 

"She  looks  ship-shape,  sir.  She  has  a  good  bow, 
and  a  clean  run,  and  ought  to  sail.  But  they'll  have 
to  send  down  that  topmast  again." 

"Why?" 

"  They  have  made  a  mistake  in  putting  on  the 
standin'  riggin'." 

"  The  devil  they  have  !  You've  a  sharp  eye  of  your 
own.  You're  right.  I  wasn't  here  until  they  began  to 
sway  on  it.     What  vessel  do  you  belong  to  ?'' 

"  I  don't  belong  to  any,  sir.  I  was  cabin-boy  on 
board  the  Hero." 

"  Would  you  like  to  ship  ?" 

"Not  as  cabin-boy,  sir.     I  want  to  be  a  sailor*" 

"  Well,  then,  before  the  mast.  You  shall  have  ten 
dollars  a-month.     Will  you  go  ?" 

"  Yes,  sir.     Where  are  you  bound  ?" 

"To  Rio;  be  on  board  at  nine  o'clock  to-morrow, 
and  sign  the  articles." 

"Ay,  ay,  sir,"  replied  Jasper,  mechanically;  and  he 
walked  away  with  a  throb  of  pleasure  at  his  good  for- 
tune. Captain  Henderson  was  evidently  pleased  with 
him,  and  could  he  retain  that  favorable  impression,  there 
were  not  many  voyages  for  him  before  the  mast.  The 
next  day  he  signed  the  articles,  and  on  the  third  day  after- 
ward he  saw  the  last  of  Cape  Henry  for  some  months. 
Giving  all  possible  attention  to  his  duty,  the  favorable 
impression  which  he  had  at  first  made  was  strengthened 
and  confirmed.  He  was  almost  uniformly  first  on  deck 
after  the  watch  had  been  called ;  first  to  go  aloft  in  a 


166  nag's  head. 

squall ;  first  upon  the  footropes  in  stowing  the  jib  or 
flying  jib.  No  one  ever  "growled"  at  him  for  a  "slow 
relief"  at  the  wheel,  or  on  the  look-out  at  night;  and 
there  was  so  much  cheerfulness  in  his  look,  and  tone  of 
voice,  in  obeying  orders,  that  he  became  a  general  fa- 
vorite on  board  the  Admiral,  as  he  had  been  on  board 
the  Hero.  Captain  Henderson  invariably  called  him 
aft  when  he  was  taking  an  observation,  and  it  was  not 
long  before  Jasper  became  an  expert  navigator.  It  was 
the  custom  of  the  captain,  too,  though  not  agreeable  to 
the  strict  rSgime  of  the  quarter-deck,  to  converse  with 
the  boy  as  he  stood  at  the  wheel.  This  he  might  safely 
do  ;  for  nothing  could  divert  Jasper's  attention  from  the 
compass,  the  head  of  the  ship,  and  the  weather-leach  of 
the  mizzen  royal,  while  it  was  his  trick  at  the  wheel. 

He  continued  with  Captain  Henderson  for  seven  years, 
during-  which  time  he  became  an  expert  seaman  and  a 
thorough-bred  navigator,  and  had  been  promoted,  step 
by  step,  until  he  attained  the  berth  of  mate,  or  first 
officer,  on  board  a  stanch  ship  of  six  hundred  and  fifty 
tons.  Meanwhile  the  friendly  intimacy  between  him  and 
the  captain  had  been  confirmed,  and  their  intercourse 
was  more  like  that  of  father  and  son  than  of  the  captain 
and  his  inferior.  Captain  Henderson  had  saved  enough 
from  his  hard-earned  wages,  first  to  buy  a  "piece"  of 
the  ship  he  commanded,  then  the  whole;  and  finally  had 
accumulated  enough  to  purchase  a  large  landed  estate 
in  Nansemond,  about  forty  miles  from  Norfolk.  This 
he  had  stocked,  and  got  under  successful  and  profitable 
cultivation;  leaving  it,  when  he  was  at  sea,  under  the 
care  of  a  negro,  who  had  so  distinguished  himself  by 
his  honesty  and  good  conduct  as  to  have  obtained  the 
post  of  overseer. 


THE  BANKERS.  167 

It  had  been  the  custom  of  the  captain,  whenever  Jas- 
per could  be  spared  from  the  duties  of  receiving  and 
stowing,  or  of  discharging  cargo,  to  take  his  favorite  to 
Stalkfield  to  spend  a  few  days  with  his  family.  Mistress 
Henderson  was  to  the  full  as  fond  of  the  brave,  high- 
spirited  boy  as  was  her  excellent  husband;  and  Mary 
Henderson,  then  about  twelve  years  old,  was  never 
weary  of  listening  to  the  young  mariner's  tales  of  the 
sea,  of  romping  or  riding  with  him  about  or  beyond  the 
plantation. 

She  was  a  charming  girl,  with  golden  hair,  and  a  pro- 
fusion of  it,  a  light  step,  and  a  smile  that  boded  well 
for  her  future  character.  She  was  not  handsome.  She 
dressed  with  the  severest  plainness;  but  there  was  some- 
thing in  her  eye  and  manner  that  never  failed  to  win 
the  heart  of  even  her  casual  acquaintances.  Then  she 
was  so  affectionate  to  her  father  and  mother ;  and  the 
latter  being  an  invalid,  Mary  was  ever  near  her,  ever 
ministering  to  her  comfort.  The  captain's  pipe  and 
tobacco,  and  even  his  boot-jack  and  slippers  were  her 
care.  There  was  no  little  comfort,  or  whim,  or  taste,  to 
which  it  did  not  seem  to  be  her  special  study  to  gratify. 

For  the  last  three  voyages,  Jasper  had  not  seen  her. 
The  mother's  health  had  improved,  and  Mary  had  been 
placed  at  school.  One  of  these  voyages  had  been  to 
Manilla,  another  to  Valparaiso,  and  the  third  to  Smyrna ; 
and  well-nigh  three  years  had  rolled  away  since  Jas- 
per saw  her.  Those  three  years,  too,  were  after  the 
arrival  of  her  fourteenth  birthday,  and  Jasper  Somes' 
surprise  may  be  imagined,  on  finding  a  woman  where 
he  had  been  expecting  a  girl.  If  Mary  had  been  charm- 
ing as  a  girl,  she  was  tenfold  more  charming  as  the 
young  woman.     The  romping  and  giggling  had  disap- 


168  nag's  head. 

peared  with  the  girlish  costume.  "The  cast  of  thought" 
was  on  the  forehead;  and  the  eye  told  of  soberer  and 
profounder  views  of  life.  Indeed,  as  is  always  the  case, 
she  had  become  thoughtful,  and  had  invested  life  with 
less  romance  than  is  usual  with  girls  of  her  age,  because 
of  her  constant  attendance  upon  her  invalid  mother. 
There  is  no  preacher  like  Sickness  to  teach  us  the 
"  braw  sober  lessons"  of  hard-featured,  real,  tangible, 
undisguised,  every-day  life. 

Jasper,  too,  had  changed.  The  frankness  and  gentle- 
ness remained;  but  the  habit  of  command  had  given  his 
natural  air  a  more  decided  cast.  The  beardless  face  had 
given  place  to  the  raven  whisker.  The  sun  had  left 
upon  the  darkened  cheek  the  hue  of  warmer  climes,  and 
the  slender,  stripling-like  limbs  of  the  cabin-boy  had 
expanded  into  the  athletic  fullness  and  sinew  of  early 
manhood. 

There  was,  at  first,  shyness  and  constraint  on  the 
part  of  both.  Jasper,  unconscious  of  the  similar  change 
in  his  own  manner,  was  half  vexed  with  the  shyness  and 
reserve  of  his  former  companion.  Like  all  other  lovers, 
he  endeavored  to  fathom  the  cause  of  it.  What  could  it 
be?  As  he  lay  thinking  on  the  matter,  late  one  night, 
he  fell  upon  what  struck  him  as  being  a  most  lucid  so- 
lution of  the  mystery. 

"  I  am,"  said  he  to  himself,  "  poor.  I  have  no  hopes 
of  fortune,  or  eminence  save  in  these  hands  of  mine, 
which,  I  thank  God,  have  thus  far  proved  no  unworthy 
allies.  She  is  rich.  She  can  wed  above  me — immea- 
surably. She  thinks  I  covet  her  hand,  possibly,  for 
these  acres  of  Stalkfield.  By  the  mane  of  the  sea ! 
she  may  spare  herself  the  unworthy  suspicion.  The 
dawn  is  not  distant,  and  then  good-bye  to  Stalkfield !" 


THE  BANKERS.  169 

"What  port  do  you  hail  from  last?''  said  Mary  to 
her  father,  as  they  were  preparing  to  retire  on  the  same 
evening. 

"From  Smyrna,  my  daughter." 

"  Was  it  there  Jasper  got  his  new  invoice  of  dignity  ?" 
asked  Mary,  with  a  laugh. 

"Nay,  my  daughter.  Jasper  has  undergone  no 
change  that  I  can  perceive ;  though  he  has  seemed  a 
little  shy  to-day.'' 

"  A  little  shy  f  I'm  almost  afraid  to  speak  to  him  ; 
with  that  gruff  voice  of  his,  and  those  enormous  whis- 
kers." 

"The  voice  is  just  what  it  should  be,  Molly,  for  the 
quarter-deck  ;  and  for  the  whiskers,  I  dare  say  he 
would  be  quite  willing  to  part  with  them,  now  that  sum- 
mer has  come.     Good  night,  my  daughter." 

"  Good  night,  my  dear  father." 

Breakfast  is  almost  always  a  silent  meal ;  always  so 
when  night  has  been  turned  into  day,  by  the  demands 
of  fashion  ;  alwavs  so  when  men  have  lingered  late 
over  the  dice,  the  cards  and  the  wine ;  always  after  the 
vigil  in  the  sick-room  ;  always  when  there  is  secret  grief 
or  ill-feeling  in  the  heart  of  parent,  child,  friend,  host, 
or  guest. 

The  breakfast-scene  the  next  morning  was  the  dull- 
est ever  known  at  Stalkfield.  Jasper  was  indeed  "  dig- 
nified." Mary  was  piqued,  and  Captain  Henderson  and 
his  lady  were  mystified.  The  good,  simple-hearted  old 
captain  could  not  fathom  it.  Mistress  Henderson  upset 
the  cream  pitcher,  and  even  old  Juba  seemed  to  have 
caught  the  fidgety  feeling. 

"  Juba,  tell  Lloyd  to  bring    out  my  horse,  if  you 
please." 
15 


170  nag's  head. 


"  Yes,  niaussa. 


"  Why,  Jasper,  you're  not  going  away  ?  I  believe  I 
have  your  promise  to  spend  a  fortnight  at  Stalkfield. 
Tut!  tut !  man  !     Hold  on  to  your  moorings.     You — " 

"Here's  de  letter-bag,  Maussa  John,"  said  old  Sam, 
who  had  entered  unnoticed,  with  a  scrape  of  his  right 
foot. 

"The  letters,  hey?     Let's  see.     Captain  John 

that's  for  me.  Give  me  my  glasses,  Lloyd.  Here's  two 
for  you,  my  daughter.  Hillo,  Jasper,  here's  one  for 
you,  my  boy !  I  think  I've  seen  that  hand  before. 
Mightily  like  Bentley  &  Dent's  head  clerk.  We'll  read 
'em  over  our  last  cup  of  coffee." 

For  a  few  minutes,  not  a  word  was  said.  The  coun- 
tenance of  neither  father  nor  daughter  indicated  any- 
thing specially  interesting  ;  one  of  the  letters  being 
from  a  firm  in  Norfolk  about  a  proposed  voyage  to 
Cayenne ;  and  the  other  a  soul-breathing  epistle  from 
a  boarding-school  crony  of  Mary's.  But  Jasper's  eyes 
expanded  with  a  most  unmistakable  expression  of  joy- 
ful surprise. 

"What  is  it,  my  boy  ?"  exclaimed  Captain  Henderson, 
as  he  lifted  his  spectacles  over  his  forehead.  "  Some- 
thing pleasant,  I'll  be  sworn." 

Jasper  handed  him  the  letter. 

"  May  I  read  it  aloud,  my  boy  ?" 

"  Yes,  sir,  if  you  choose." 

"Norfolk,  June  lSth,  1812. 

"  Mr.  Jasper  Somes — 

"  Dear  Sir — You  have  now  been  several  years  in  our 
employ,  and  it  has  given  us  unfeigned  pleasure  to  ad- 
vance you  step  by  step  to  the  berth  of  first  officer.     The 


THE  BANKERS.  171 

report  of  Captain  Henderson  as  to  your  skill  as  a  sea- 
man and  navigator,  and  your  good  conduct  in  the  com- 
mercial transactions  connected  with  the  voyage,  afford 
us  the  anticipated  pleasure  of  offering  you  the  barque 
Hesperus,  now  nearly  ready  for  sea,  and  bound  to  Ma- 
hon.  Waiting  your  reply^  I  am,  sir,  in  behalf  of  self 
and  partner, 

"  Your  obedient  servant, 

"  ANSON  BENTLEY, 
"  Per  James  Felton." 

"  D'ye  hear  that,  wife?  Mary,  do  you  hear  that? 
The  Hesperus  ?  the  prettiest  craft  that  swims,  I  do 
believe.  I  congratulate  you,  my  brave  heart  of  oak. 
Zounds,  man  !  your  fortune's  made  !  Lloyd,  have  that 
horse  put  back  into  the  stable.  You  sha'n't  stir  from 
Stalkfield  to-day." 

And  the  delighted  captain  stalked  back  and  forth,  as 
if  he  had  regained  his  post  on  the  quarter-deck. 

"  Jasper,  come  here  !  Give  me  your  hand,  my  boy. 
My  daughter,  come  here.  Give  me  yours.  There,  now ! 
shake  hands  and  have  no  more  of  this  pouting." 

"Why,  father,  I'm  sure  I " 

"  No  such  a  thing  !  You've  both  been  more  dignified 
than  an  admiral  exercising  his  fleet.  Shake  hands, 
now,  and  make  it  up  directly." 

And  Jasper  Somes's  valiant  and  almost  wrathful 
resolves  faded  away  "in  tenues  duras." 

It  was  the  twentieth  day  of  June,  in  the  year  of  our 
Lord  eighteen  hundred  and  twelve.  A  memorable  day 
for  Jasper  Somes ;  for  he  had  that  day  breathed  in  the 
ear  of  Mary  Hendersen  the  tale  of  his  love.  On  the 
morrow  he  was  to  leave  Stalkfield  to  superintend   the 


172  nag's  head. 

preparations  for  his  voyage.  As  the  lovers  returned 
from  their  walk,  with  hearts  too  full  of  happiness  to 
admit  of  conversation,  a  servant  met  them  with  letters. 

Joining  Captain  Henderson,  who  was  enjoying  a  pipe 
in  the  piazza,  the  letters  were  opened. 

"News  for  us!"  exclaimed  Jasper,  handing  the  open 
letter  to  the  captain.  The  old  gentleman  adjusted  his 
spectacles,  and  read  aloud — 

"  Norfolk,  June  19th,  1812. 
"  Capt.  Jasper  Somes  : — 

"  Dear  Sir — Yours  of  yesterday  reached  us  late  last 
evening.  We  hasten  to  inform  you  that  .an  express 
arrived  at  daybreak  this  morning  from  Washington. 
War  is  declared — war  with  England.  We  shall  there- 
fore defer  the  voyage  of  the  Hesperus.  Meanwhile,  we 
intend  to  take  out  letters  of  marque,  and  if  you  are  so 
disposed,  you  can  have  the  command  of  the  brig  Anson 
Bentley,  two  hundred  and  forty  tons,  now  fitting  for 
sea.  You  can  pick  your  own  crew,  and  we  beg  leave 
to  say  that  we  have  entire  confidence  that  you  will  give 
a  good  account  of  yourself. 

"  We  are,  with  much  respect, 

"  Your  ob't  serv'ts, 
"BENTLEY,  DENT  &  CO., 

"Per  Jas.  Felton." 

"  Jasper,  give  us  your  hand,  my  boy  !"  exclaimed  the 
kind-hearted  skipper ;  and  throwing  his  arms  around 
the  young  sailor,  he  embraced  him.  Jasper  Somes's 
eyes  glistened  with  emotion,  and  the  tears  started  forth 
upon  the  furrowed  cheeks  of  the  old  man  as  he  repeated 
his  congratulations. 


THE  BANKERS.  173 

"  Your  fortune's  as  good  as  made,  you  lucky  dog  ! 
Your  obedient  servant,  Captain  Somes !"  added  he, 
with  a  mock  salaam  of  affected  reverence.  "  May  I 
bespeak  a  middy's  berth  aboard  the  Anson  Bentley  ? 
Think  of  my  head  among  'the  young  gentlemen  !'" 

Jasper  laughed,  but  made  no  reply.  To  say  the 
truth,  the  memory  of  that  day's  interview  was  far  too 
fresh  in  the  minds  of  both  himself  and  Mary  Henderson 
to  qualify  them  for  a  due  appreciation  of  the  good  for- 
tune that  had  so  aroused  the  worthy  captain's  enthu- 
siasm. Mistress  Henderson  made  no  other  demonstra- 
tion of  her  joy  than  the  grasping  of  the  young  sailor's 
hand  in  both  her  own,  and  the  utterance  of  a  low,  but 
earnest 

"I  congratulate  you,  Jasper.     You  deserve  it." 

Three  months  from  that  evening,  the  brig  Anson 
Bentley  left  the  Capes  of  the  Chesapeake.  Her  crew 
consisted  of  seventy  men,  all  told ;  young,  hardy,  ener- 
getic men — precisely  the  sort  of  crew  that  it  were 
hazardous  for  any  foe,  with  not  too  much  odds,  to  meet. 
The  war  was  for  "sailors'  rights,"  and  a  spirit  had 
been  roused  which  the  stalwart  sons  of  the  English 
marine  ultimately  found  to  be  troublesome. 

A  week  passed  away,  and  not  the  gleam  of  a  sail  had 
been  seen.  It  was  Saturday  evening,  and  the  brig  was 
becalmed.  The  boatswain's  mate  had  piped  to  supper, 
and  the  messes  were  chatting  and  eating  between  the 
guns.  It  was  the  hour  when  the  crew  of  a  man-o'-war 
are  allowed  to  talk  and  sing,  and  be  as  merry,  within 
bounds,  as  they  please.  Captain  Somes  was  pacing  the 
deck  with  his  first  lieutenant,  Mr.  Trapier,  when  a  flash 

15* 


174  nag's  head. 

of  lightning,  from  a  small  cloud  in  the  west,  arrested 
the  promenade. 

"Let  the  people  finish  their  suppers  as  soon  as  may 
be,  Mr.  Trapier,''  said  the  captain,  after  a  momentary 
survey  of  the  sky,  "and  hand  the  light  sails." 

"Ay,  ay,  sir,"  was  the  prompt  reply,  and  the  brig 
was  soon  under  snug  sail  for  the  night.  The  threatened 
squall  was  long  in  gathering.  It  was  not  until  three 
bells  in  the  mid-watch  that  it  burst  upon  the  vessel. 
Every  necessary  precaution  had  been  taken,  however, 
and  the  brig  was  under  her  topsails  merely,  and  ready 
for  the  threatened  storm.  Well  was  it  for  all  that  she 
was  thus  in  readiness ;  for  the  blast  came  rushing  like  a 
war-horse  against  an  enemy's  column,  causing  the  brig 
to  heel  fearfully  to  port. 

"Luff  !''  shouted  the  officer  of  the  deck,  with  a  voice 
like  a  young  lion. 

"Luff  it  is,  sir!''  was  the  reply,  and  the  brig  came 
briskly  to  the  wind.  From  that  time  until  the  dawn  of 
day,  the  wind,  after  the  first  violence  of  the  squall  was 
over,  continued  to  freshen. 

"Station  the  look-outs!"  said  Captain  Somes,  as  he 
came  on  deck,  at  daybreak. 

The  order  was  executed;  a  man  being  stationed  in 
the  fore  and  maintopmast-crosstrees. 

"Maintopmast-crosstrees  !"  hailed  the  captain. 

"Sir." 

"  What's  the  news  there,  aloft  ?" 

"Nothing  in  sight,  sir." 

"Boatswain's  mate,  send  the  boy  Fred." 

"Ay,  ay,  sir.  You  Fred,  lay  aft  there;  Captain 
Somes  wants  you." 


THE  BANKERS.  175 

A  shrill,  treble,  boyish  voice  shouted  the  customary 
"  Ay,  ay  !"  and  Fred  Manning  ran  aft. 

"  Here,  you  young  powder  monkey  !  carry  this  ship's- 
glass  aloft  to  the  look-out." 

"For'ard,  sir?" 

"No!  on  the  main." 

The  look-out  took  the  glass,  and  adjusting  it  carefully, 
began  sweeping  the  horizon. 

"  Sail  0  !"  shouted  he,  suddenly. 

"Where  away?"  was  the  question  from  the  quarter- 
deck. 

"A  couple  o'  pints  on  the  weather-bow,  sir.  Looks 
large,  sir !" 

Captain  Somes  now  went  aloft,  and,  in  the  course  of 
an  hour,  had  made  out  the  stranger.  She  was  mani- 
festly larger  than  the  brig,  a  ship,  under  English 
colors,  and  showing  a  close-reefed  fore  and  mizzen  top- 
sail, single-reefed  maintopsail  and  jib. 

"Let  the  drum  beat  to  quarters,"  said  he,  as  he  jumped 
from  the  Jacob's-ladder  on  deck.  "  Keep  fast  the  guns  ! 
Be  ready  there,  boarders  !" 

Pistols  and  cutlasses  were  handed  from  the  arm-chest. 
The  crew  were  speedily  armed,  and  the  boatswain  piped 
"All  hands  !  splice  the  main  brace  !" 

The  stranger  was  now  drawing  quite  near  ;  when  sud- 
denly she  squared  her  yards  and  bore  away  so  as  to 
bring  the  wind  upon  her  starboard  quarter.  She  was 
deeply  laden,  however,  and  as  Captain  Somes  had  "kept 
away,"  it  was  soon  apparent  that  the  brig  would  speedily 
overhaul  her.  The  stranger  was  evidently  aware  of 
this ;  for  he  hauled  his  wind  and  threw  his  maintopsail 
to  the  mast. 


176  nag's  head. 

"Ship  ahoy!"  shouted  Jasper,  as  he  ran  across  her 
stern. 

"Hillo!" 

"What  ship  is  that?" 

"  The  Ayrshire,  of  Liverpool." 

"Strike  your  colors,  then;  for  you  are   my  prize." 

"Never!"  shouted  the  stranger,  who  evidently  had 
not  before  heard  of  the  existence  of  the  war ;  and  im- 
mediately there  was  a  bustle  on  board. 

The  brig,  meanwhile,  had  run  across  the  stranger's 
stern,  and  hauled  on  the  wind,  so  that  as  the  dialogue 
closed  she  was  forging  ahead  of  the  ship. 

"Luff!"  shouted  Jasper;  and  the  brig  came  briskly 
into  the  wind,  her  jib-boom  coming  foul  of  the  stranger's 
bowsprit. 

"Follow  me,  boys  I"  shouted  he;  and  with  a  bound 
he  was  between  the  manropes.  In  another  instant  he 
was  in  the  staysail-netting,  on  the  stranger's  bowsprit, 
engaged,  hand  to  hand,  with  her  gallant  captain.  The 
brig  was,  of  course,  aback;  and  before  a  man  could  follow 
him,  a  heavy  sea  threw  the  two  vessels  apart,  and  Jas- 
per Somes  was  alone  ! 

"  Keep  back  !  all  of  you  !''  shouted  the  English 
captain  to  his  men,  who  were  about  to  cut  the  youth 
from  his  resting-place,  where  he  was  fighting  like  a  lion 
at  bay.     "  Let  me  deal  with  the  Yankee  Hotspur  !" 

G-ardez  vous  bien,  Jasper  Somes,  for  thou  hast  no 
boy's  play  before  thee — a  chest  as  broad,  and  an  arm 
as  strong,  and  a  heart  as  brave  as  thy  own.  Occupied 
for  the  moment  by  the  hand-to-hand  struggle,  the 
officers  and  crew  stood  in  silent  admiration  of  the  com- 
batants. 

"Huzza!" 


THE  BANKERS.  177 

The  Englishman's  cutlass  has  been  struck  from  his 
grasp,  and  it  falls  into  the  sea.  Jasper  throws  away 
his  own,  scorning  to  take  advantage  of  so  gallant  a  foe. 

"  Surrender  !"  shouted  he. 

"Never  !"  said  his  undaunted  foe. 

"  Then  defend  yourself !"  said  Jasper;  and  he  grasped 
the  Englishman  and  endeavored  to  hurl  him  from  the 
nettings.  Fearful  now  was  the  struggle  for  the  mastery, 
and  the  crew  of  the  Englishman  stood  horror-stricken 
at  the  deadly  struggle  and  the  peril  in  which  the  com- 
batants were  placed.  The  blood  of  both  was  up,  and 
now  came  the  terrible  struggle  for  mastery,  for  life. 
Jasper's  foot  slipped,  and  the  Englishman's  brawny  hand 
was  at  his  throat,  when  suddenly  his  arms  were  pinioned 
from  behind. 

When  the  brig  was  taken  aback,  the  first  lieutenant 
had  the  presence  of  mind  to  put  the  helm  hard  a-star- 
board.  The  brig,  of  course,  fell  off;  her  sails  filled, 
and  the  young  officer  ran  her  jib-boom  into  the  stranger's 
mizzen  rigging.  A  score  of  brave  fellows  rushed  on 
board,  the  stranger's  colors  were  hauled  down,  and  the 
boarders  were  speedily  in  possession  of  the  deck. 
Lieutenant  Trapier  was  just  in  time  to  save  his  cap- 
tain's life,  and  the  Englishman,  seeing  the  condition 
of  his  vessel,  surrendered, 

The  stranger  was  an  East  Indiaman.  A  crew  was 
put  on  board,  and  on  the  third  day  after  the  capture, 
the  Anson  Bentley  and  her  prize  anchored  in  Hampton 
Roads. 

"  What  became  of  Jasper,  Jack?"  asked  my  friend 
W . 

"  0,  he  got  his  pockets  full  o'  prize-money,  I've  hearn 
tell.  Den  he  and  Miss  Mary  was  spliced,  and  dey  all 
lib  in  Nansemond  for  long  time  arter  de  war." 


178  nag's  head. 


CHAPTER  XX. 


THE  DEPARTURE. 


The  last  few  days  of  "the  season"  at  Nag's  Head 
are  lonely  and  gloomy  to  the  last  degree.  Family  after 
family  has  left  you.  The  remainder  are  on  the  wing, 
and  you  might  call  the  place,  as  some  one  called  Dub- 
lin, "  the  most  car-driving-est  city''  in  the  world.  Many 
a  door,  at  which  you  have  been  met  with  a  smile  of 
welcome,  is  closed.  Many  a  friend,  whom  even  a  short 
acquaintance  has  rendered  dear  to  you,  has  departed ; 
and  you  saunter  about  the  sand-hills  with  a  feverish 
anxiety  for  the  arrival  of  the  day  of  your  own  exodus. 
I  shall  not  soon  forget  my  emotions,  as  I  saw  family 
after  family  embark,  heard  the  thousand-times  repeated, 
tear-provoking  "good-bye,"  and  gathered  my  relaxed 
energies  to  appear  decorously  nonchalant. 

It  was  on  a  bright  and  beautiful  day,  the  last  but 

one,  of  September,  that  I  left  Nag's  Head.    J was 

up  and  dressing  when  I  awoke. 

"  Good  morning,  J ." 

"  Good  morning,  Mr.  Seaworthy.  This  is  your  last 
day  with  us,  I  suppose,"  added  he,  as  he  smoothed  the 
last  wrinkle  in  his  cravat. 

I  was  about  making  some  reply  when  I  heard  the 
pleasant  tones  of  my  friend  Dr.  A .  On  going  be- 
low, I  found  him,  as  usual,  making  everybody  happy  by 


THE  DEPARTURE.  179 

his  inxexhautible  fund  of  chat,  and  fun,  and  originality, 
and  animal  spirits. 

"Thought   I'd   come  and   breakfast  with  you,  this 

morning,"   said   he   to    Mrs.    W .     "  We're  going 

away  to-day,  and  Madam  A is  upsetting  the  house- 
hold gods ;  the  Penetralia  all  in  confusion.  I  always 
get  out  of  the  way  on  these  occasions.  Hate  a 
hubbub  as  I  hate  the  devil ;  and  we  move  four  times 
a-year !" 

He  left  us  when  we  had  breakfasted.  I  packed  my 
trunk,  and  again  descended  to  the  sitting-room.  I  was 
restless.  I  went  to  the  piazza.  Cely  was  mending,  and 
Ann  sat  near  her,  with  brave  little  John,  the  baby. 
Jumper  lay  sunning  himself,  and  little  black  Simon  was 
enjoying  a  similar  luxury.     We  spoke  of  my  departure. 

"This  is  one  of  the  greatest  hardships  of  life  to  me," 
said  the  elder  of  the  two  ladies  ;  "  to  part  with  a  fami- 
liar face."  Madame  W gave  me  a  cordial  invita- 
tion to  visit  them  at  H ,  and  her  fine  eyes  glistened 

as  she  did  so. 

The  hour  came.  With  stifling  sensations  at  my 
throat,  I  shook  hands  with  all,  and  bade  them  farewell. 
In  a  few  minutes,  I  was  on  board  the  white-winged 
packet.  Furniture,  horses,  the  cow,  and  the  luggage 
were  soon  on  board ;  the  chain  rattled  on  the  windlass, 
the  sails  went  up  "  with  a  will,"  and  I  bade  Nag's 
Head  also  farewell. 

A  WORD  AT  PARTING. 

My  dear  reader — for  dear  art  thou  to  me,  what- 
soever thou  art,  that  has  followed  me  through  these 
desultory  and  unworthy  sketches  of  Nag's  Head — 
thy  hand  again  at  parting.     The  frost  has  come.     The 


180  nag's  head. 

pulse  of  health  comes  back  to  me.  I  am  better.  The 
fresh  north  wind  blows  through  the  lattice  upon  my 
forehead  as  I  write. 

i. 

The  wind  of  the  North  !  0,  it  comes  from  the  hills, 
From  lands  at  whose  name  drowsy  memory  thrills, 
With  beauty  and  freshness  from  earth  and  the  wave, 
And  stays  the  frail  step  on  the  verge  of  the  grave. 

ii. 
The  wind  of  the  North !     As  the  ears  of  the  steed 
To  note  of  the  pulse-stirring  bugle  gives  heed, 
My  heart  leaps  again,  as  it  bringeth  to  me 
The  strength  of  the  Northward,  the  air  of  the  free. 

in. 
The  wind  of  the  North !  welcome  wind  of  the  North, 
With  health  and  with  iron  arms  journeying  forth ; 
Thou  dalliest  never  with  charnel-house  air, 
But  leavest  the  joy  of  thy  purity  there. 

IV, 

The  wind  of  the  North  !   nor  in  marsh  nor  in  fen 
It  maketh  its  home ;  but  to  dwellings  of  men 
It  bears  home  the  anthem  of  torrents  and  rills, 
And  gladdens  the  hearth  with  the  glee  of  the  hills. 

v. 
The  wind  of  the  North !  bless  thee,  wind  of  my  home  I 
How  long  o'er  the  earth  and  the  sea  shall  I  roam, 
My  heart  ever  yearning  for  home's  winter  fires, 
The  faces,  the  hearts  of  the  home  of  my  sires  ? 

We  have  jogged  on  right  cosily  together,  and  our 
roads  here  separate.  If  the  way  has  been  half  as 
pleasant  to  thee  as  it  hath  been  to  thy  fellow-traveler, 
it  shall  go  hard  if  the  chances  of  travel  do  not  bring  us 
again  in  company.     Bon  voyage  and  au  revoir  ! 

THE  END. 


NEW    BOOKS 

RECENTLY  PUBLISHED   BY 

A.  HART,  late  CAREY  &  HART, 

No.  126  Chestnut  Street,  Philadelphia. 


HISTORICAL  AND  SECRET  MEMOIRS     PROSE  WRITERS  OF  GERMANY, 


OF  THE 

EMPRESS   JOSEPHINE, 

(Marie  Rose  Tascher  de  la  Pagerie,) 
FIRST   WIFE   OF   NAPOLEON  BONAPARTE. 

BY  MLLE.  M.  A.  LE  NORMAND. 

Translated  from  the  French  by  Jacob   M. 

Howard,  Esq. 

In  2  vols.,  700  pages,  muslin  extra  gilt. 

"  It  possesses  great  intrinsic  interest.     It 

is  a  chequered  exhibition  of  the  undress  life 

of  Napoleon.    All  the  glitter  and  pomp  and 

dust  of  glory  which  bewilder  the  mind  is 

laid;  and  we  behold  not  the  hero,  the  em- 

Eeror,  ihe  guide  and  moulder  of  destiny, 
ut  a  poor  sickly  child  and  creature  of  cir- 
cumstance—affrighted !>y  shadows  and  tor- 
tured by  straws."—  Philada.  City  Item. 

"  This  is  one  of  the  most  interesting  works 
of  the  day,  containing  a  muliiplicity  of  in- 
cidents in  the  life  of  Josephine  and  her  re- 
nowned husband,  which  have  never  before 
been  in  print." — N.  O.  Times. 

"This  is  a  work  of  high  and  commanding 
interest,  and  derives  great  additional  value 
from  the  fact  asserted  by  the  authoress,  that 
the  greater  portion  of  it  was  written  by  the 
empress  herself.  It  has  a  vast  amount  of 
information  on  the  subjeet  of  Napoleon's 
career,  with  copies  of  original  documents 
not  to  be  found  elsewhere,  and  with  copious 
notes  at  the  end  of  the  work." — N.  O  Corn- 
Bulletin 

'•Affords  the  reader  a  clearer  insight  into 
the  private  character  of  Napoleon  than  he 
can  obtain  through  any  other  source." — 
Baltimore  American. 

"They  are  agreeably  and  well  written; 
and  it  would  be  strange  if  it  were  not  so, 
enjoying  as  Josephine  did,  familiar  collo- 
quial intercourse  with  the  most  distinguish- 
ed men  and  minds  of  the  age.  The  work 
does  not,  apparently,  suffer  by  translation." 
— Baltimore  Patriot. 

"It  is  the  history— in  part  the  secret  his- 
tory, written  by  her  own  hand  wiih  rare 
elegance  and  force,  and  at  times  with  sur- 
passing pathos  — of  the  remarkable  woman 
who,  by  the  greamessof  her  spirit  was  wor- 
thy to  be  the  wife  of  the  soaring  NapoU  on. 
It  combines  all  the  value  of  auihentic  his- 
tory with  the  absorbing  interest  of  an  auto- 
biography or  exciting  romance." — Item. 


By  FREDERICK  ft  HEDGE. 

ILLUSTRATED  "WITH  EIGHT  PORTRAITS  AND  A.M 

ENGRAVED  TITLE-PAGE,  FROM  A  DESIGN 

BY  LEUTZE. 

Complete  in  One  Volume  Octavo. 
Contents. 

Luther,  Bcehme,  Sancta  Clara,  Moser, 
Kant,  Lessing,  Mendelssohn,  Hamann,  Wie« 
land,  Musaus,  Claudius,  Lavaler,  Jacobi, 
HeTder,  Goethe,  Schiller.  Fichte,  Richter, 
A.  VV.  Schlegel,  Schleiermacher,  Hegel, 
Zschokke,  F.  Schlegel,  Hardenberg,  Tieck, 
Schelling,  Hoffmann,  Chamisso. 

"The  author  of  this  work— for  it  is  well 
entitled  to  the  name  of  an  original  produc- 
tion, though  mainly  consisting  of  transla- 
tions—Frederick H.  Hedge  of  Bangor,  is 
qualified,  as  few  men  are  in  this  country, 
or  wherever  the  English  language  is  writ- 
ten, for  the  successful  accomplishment  of 
the  great  literary  enterprise  to  which  he  has 
devoted  his  leisure  for  several  years. 

"Mr.  Hedge  has  displayed  great  wisdom 
in  the  selection  of  the  pieces  to  be  trans- 
elated;  he  has  given  the  best  specimens  of 
£  the  best  authors,  so  far  as  was  possible  in 
his  limited  space. 

"  We  venture  to  say  that  there  cannot  be 
erowded  into  the  same  compass  a  more 
faithful  representation  of  the  German  mind, 
or  a  richer  exhibition  of  the  profound 
thought,  subtle  speculation,  massive  learn- 
ing and  genial  temper,  that  characterize  the 
most  eminent  literary  men  of  that  nation." 
— Harbinger. 

"  What  excellent  matter  we  here  have. 
The  choicest  gems  of  exuberant  fancy,  the 
most  polished  productions  of  scholarship, 
the  richest  flow  of  ihe  heart,  the  deepest 
lessons  of  wisdom,  all  translated  so  well  by 
Mr  Hedge  and  his  friends,  that  they  seem 
to  have  been  first  written  by  masters  of  the 
English  tongue." — The  City  Item. 

"We  have  read  the  book  with  rare  plea- 
sure, and  have  derived  not  less  information 
than  enjoyment." — Knickerbocker. 
<     "The  selections  are  judicious  and  tasteful, 
<the  biographies  well  written  and  compre 
/  hensive." — Inquirer. 


NEW   BOOKS   PUBLISHED  BY  A.  HART. 


XAPOLEON 

AND 

THE  MARSHALS  OF  THE  EMPIRE. 

Complete  in  2  vols.  12mo., 

With  16  Steel  Portraits  in  Military  Costume. 

Contents* 

Napoleon,  Jourdan.  SerrurieT,  Lannes, 
Brune,  Perignon,  Oudinot,  Soult,  Davoust, 
Massena,  Murat,  Mortier,  Ney,  Poniatow- 
ski.  Grouchy,  Bessieres.  Berthier,  Souchet, 
St.  Cyr,  Victor,  Moncey,  Marmont,  Mac- 
donald,  Bernadotle,  Augereau,  Lefebvre, 
Kellermann. 

The  biographies  are  twenty-seven  in 
number— Napoleon  and  his  twenty-six 
marshals,  being  all  those  created  by  him — 
and  therefore  these  pages  have  a  complete- 
ness about  them  which  no  other  work  of  a 
similar  design  possesses 

The  style  is  clear  and  comprehensive, 
and  the  book  may  be  relied  upon  for  histo- 
rical accuracy,  as  the  materials  have  been 
drawn  from  sources  the  most  authentic. 
The  Conversations  of  Napoleon,  with  ftlon- 
tholon,  Gourgaud,  Las  Cases  and  Dr.  O'- 
Meara  have  all  been  consulted  as  the  true 
basis  upon  which  the  lives  of  Napoleon 
and  his  commanders  under  him  should  be 
founded. 

''The  article  on  Napoleon,  which  occu- 
pies the  greater  pan  of  the  first  volume,  is 
written  in  a  clear  and  forcible  style  and 
displays  marked  ability  in  the  author.  Par- 
ticular attention  has  been  paid  to  the  early 
portion  of  Napoleon's  life,  which  other  wri- 
ters have  hurriedly  dispatched  as  though 
they  were  impatient  to  arrive  at  the  opening 
glories  of  his  great  career." — N.  Y.  Mirror. 

'•The  lives  of  the  Marshals  and  their 
Chief,  the  military  paladins  of  the  gorgeous 
modern  romance  of  the  'Empire,'  are  given 
with  historic  accuracy  and  without  exag- 
geration of  fact,  style  or  language."—  Bal- 
timore Patriot. 

"  We  have  long  been  convinced  that  the 
character  of  Napoleon  would  never  receive 
'even  handed  justice'  until  some  impartial 
and  intelligent  American  should  undertake 
the  ta6k  of  weighing  his  merits  and  deme- 
rits. In  the  present  volume  this  has  been 
done  with  gTeat  judgment.  We  do  not 
know  the  author  of  the  paper  on  Napoleon, 
but  whoever  he  may  be,  allow  us  to  say  to 
him  that  he  has  executed  his  duty  better  than 
any  predecessor."—  Evening  Bulletin. 

"The  style  of  this  work  is  worthy  of  com- 
mendation—plain,  pleasing  and  narrative, 
the  proper  style  of  history  and  biography 
in  which  the  reader  does  not  seek  fancy 
sketches,  and  dashing  vivid  pictures,  but 
what  the  work  professes  to  contain,  biogra- 
phies. We  commend  this  as  a  valuable 
library  book  worthy  of  preservation  as  a 
work  of  reference,  after  having  been  read." 
—Bait  American. 

'•This  is  the  clearest,  most  concise,  and 
most  interesting  life  of  Napoleon  and  his 
marshals  which  has  yet  been  given  to  the 
public.    Tne  arrangement  is  judicious  and 


the  charm  of  the  narrative  continues  nn» 
broken  to  the  end." — City  Item 

"The  publishers  have  spared  no  pains  or 
expense  in  its  production,  and  the  best  talent 
in  the  country  has  been  engaged  on  its  va- 
rious histories.  The  style  is  plain  and  gra- 
phic, and  the  reader  feels  that  he  is  perusing 
true  history  rather  than  the  Tamblings  of  a 
romantic  mind."—  Lady's  Book. 

"The  result  of  these  joint  labors  is  a  series 
of  narratives,  in  which  the  events  succeed 
each  other  so  rapidly,  and  are  of  so  marvel- 
ous a  cast,  as  to  require  only  the  method  in 
arrangement  and  the  good  taste  in  descrip- 
tion which  they  have  received  from  the 
hands  of  their  authors.  The  inflated  and 
the  Ossianic  have  been  happily  avoided." — 
Colonization  Herald. 

"  Their  historical  accuracy  is  unimpeach- 
able, and  many  of  them  (the  biographies) 
are  stamped  with  originality  of  thought  and 
opinion.  The  engravings  are  numerous  and 
very  line.  The  book  is  well  primed  on  fine 
white  paper,  and  substantially  bound.  It 
deserves  a  place  in  all  family  and  school 
libraries." — Bulletin. 

"It  abounds  in  graphic  narratives  of  bat- 
tles, anecdotes  of  the  world-famed  actors, 
and  valuable  historical  information."—  Rich- 
mond  Inquirer. 

"  We  receive,  therefore,  with  real  plea- 
sure, this  new  publication,  having  assurance 
that  great  pains  have  been  taken  in  the  pre- 
paration of  each  individual  biography,  and 
especially  in  collating  the  various  auihoii- 
ties  upon  the  early  history  of  the  Emprror. 
There  appears  to  be  nowhere  any  attempt 
to  blind  the  reader  by  dazzling  epithets,  and 
the  accuracy  of  construction  throughout  is 
highly  creditable  to  the  editor." — Commer- 
cial Advertiser  N.  Y. 

"The  style  is  simplicity  itself,  wholly  free 
from  the  amusing  pomposity  and  absurd  in- 
flation that  distinguish  some  of  the  works 
which  have  gone  before  it." 


BRYANT'S     POEMS. 

ILLUSTRATED  BY   TWENTY    SUPERB    ENGRAVINGS^ 

From  Designs  by  E.  LETJTZE, 

Expressly  for  this  Volume, 

ENGRAVED    BY    AMERICAN   ARTISTS, 

And  printed  on  fine  Vellum  paper. 
COMPLETE  IN  ONE  VOLUME  OCTAVO. 

Sixth  Edition.    (Just  ready.) 

Price  &5.00  bound  in  scarlet,  gilt  edges  ;  or 

beautifully  bound  by  S.  Moore  in  calf 

or  Turkey  morocco,  $7.00. 

"  This  is  really  a  splendid  book,  and  one  of 
the  most  magnificent  of  Carey  &  Hart's  collec- 
tion of  "The  Illustrated  Poets.'"—  IT.  S.  Gaz. 

"The  'getting  up'  of  this  edition  is  credit* 
able  in  the  highest  degree  to  the  publishers 
and  the  fine  arts  of  the  country.  The  paper 
binding,  and  the  engravings  are  all  of  th« 
very  best  kind." — Inquirer  and  Courier. 


NEW   BOOKS   PUBLISHED   BY  A.  HART. 
PETER   SCHLEMIHL. 

PETER  SCHLEMIHL  IN  AMERICA. 

Complete  in  One  Volume,  12mo. 


"  The  object  of  this  work  is  to  '  catch  the ' 
manners  living  as  ihey  rise'  in  connection 
with  the  antagonisms  of  the  present  day — 
■  novelties  which  disturb  the  peace'— as  Swe- 
denborgianism,  Transcendentalism,  Fou- 
riensm,  and  other  isms.  The  author  has 
made  these  pages  the  vehicle  of  valuable 
information  on  all  the  topics  of  which  he 
has  treated." 

"  Peter,  as  our  readers  may  recollect,  sold 
his  shadow  to  a  Gentleman  in  Black,  and: 
upon  this  fable  the  American  adventures: 
are  founded.  The  author,  whoever  he  may 
be,  has  read  much,  and  been  at  least 
looker  on  in  Venice,'  if  not  a  participator 
of  the  follies  of  fashionable  life. 

"The  theological  and  political  criticism' 
is  inwoven  with  a  tale  of  fashionable  life, 
and  the  reader  becomes  not  a  little  interest- 
ed in  the  heroine,  Mrs.  Smith,  who  certainly 
must  have  been  a  remarkable  woman.  It: 
is  neatly  published,  and  will  be  extensively; 
read."— Bulletin. 

u  We  shatl  be  greatly  mistaken  if  this ; 
book  does  not  kick  up  a  whole  cloud  of^ 
dust."-  The  City  Item. 

"The  work  is  characterized  by  much 
learning  and  sincere  feeling." — N.  Y.  Mirror. 

"  One  of  the  most  entertaining  works  we 
have  read  for  many  a  day,  as  well  as  one; 
of  the  best  written.  Who  the  author  is  we 
know  not;  but  we  do  know  that  the  book 
will  meet  with  a  rapid  sale  wherever  an 
inkling  of  its  character  leaks  out.  For 
watering  places,  or  anywhere,  during  the 
hot  weather,  it  is  worth  its  weight  in — gold i 
we  almost  said.  It  is  full  of  everything  of  ] 
thrt  best,  and  you  can  scarcely  open  it  at 
random  without  striking  upon  some  sketch 
»r  dialogue  to  enchain  the  attention." — Ger- 
mantown  Telegraph. 

"His  stock  of  knowledge  is  large ;  and  as 
his  conscience  is  rectified  by  Christian 
principle,  and  his  heart  beats  in  unison 
with  the  right  and  the  true,  he  uses  his  trea- 
sures of  information  only  for  good  purposes. 

'•The  book  belongs  to  that  class  of  novels 
which  make  an  interesting  story  the  me- 
dium for  the  communication  of  important 
*juth.  In  many  respects  it  is  a  peculiar; 
work,  differing-  from  all  others  in  both  de- 
sign and  execution,  and  leaving  the  impres- 1 
sion  that  it  is  the  product  of  a  mind  of  no 
ordinary  power.         *         *         *        * 

"Those  who  love  to  think  and/eef,  as  the 
result  of  truthful  thought,  will  read  the  book 
with  interest  and  profit." — Reflector  Sf  Watch- 
man. 

"A  rare  book.  Who  in  the  world  wrote 
it?  Here  are  nearly  five  hundred  pages 
with  gems  on  every  one  of  them.  The 
satire  is  equal  to  that  of  Don  Quixote  or 
Asmodeus.  The  hits  at  society  in  this 
country  are  admirable  and  well  pointed. 
The  humbugs  of  the    day  are    skillfully 


shown  up,  and  the  morals  of  the  book  ar« 
unexceptionable.  The  author  cannot  long 
escape  detection,  in  spite  of  his  shadowy 
concealment,  and  if  a  new  practitioner  he 
will  jump  to  the  head  of  his  profession  at 
once." — Godey's  Lady^s  Book. 

"  We  are  prepared  to  say,  that  Peter 
Schlemihl  is  an  exceedingly  clear  and 
well-written  work — that  the  author  has 
displayed  a  considerable  amount  of  book 
lore  in  its  composition — that  the  story  is  in- 
teresting and  instructive  —  that  we  have 
been  entertained  and  edified  by  its  perusal, 
and  that  it  possesses  merits  of  more  than 
ordinary  character.  We  cordially  recom- 
mend it  to  the  reading  community,  since  we 
are  sure  that  they  will  be  benefitted  as  well 
as  entertained  by  the  revelations  contained 
in  the  pages  of  Peter. —  The  National  Era. 

"A  strangely  conceived  and  ably  executed 
work."—  N.  O.  Com.  Times. 

"The  work  forms  a  consecutive  tale,  all 
along  which  runs  a  vein  of  severe  satire, 
and  which  at  every  step  is  illustrated  by  a 
vast  deal  of  valuable  information,  and  the 
inculcation  of  sound  principles  of  morality 
and  religion.  It  is  a  work  which  is  adapted 
to  do  good,  suited  to  all  intelligent  general 
readers,  and  a  pleasant  companion  for  the 
scholar's  leisure  hours."— N.  Y.  Recorder. 

"This  is  a  very  remarkable  production, 
and  unless  we  are  greatly  deceived,  it  is 
from  a  new  hand  at  the  literary  forge.  We 
have  read  every  page  of  this  thick  volume, 
and  have  been  strongly  reminded  of  South- 
ey's  great  book,  The  Doctor.  The  author  of 
this  work  must  be  a  man  of  close  observa- 
tion, much  research,  and  if  we  are  accurate 
in  our  estimate,  he  is  a  layman.  *  *  *  * 
This  same  book  will  make  a  sensation  in 
many  quarters,  and  will  unquestionably 
create  a  name  and  reputation  for  its  author, 
who  forthwith  takes  his  place  among  the 
best  and  keenest  writers  of  our  country.  *  * 
We  commend  it  to  the  gravest  and  gayest  of 
our  readers,  and  assure  them  that  our  own 
copy  will  not  go  off  our  table  until  another 
winter  has  passed  away.'1— N.  Y.  Alliance 
and  Visitor. 

"The  volume  cannot  fail  to  be  read  exten- 
sively and  do  good.  The  popular  '  isms*  of 
the  day,  their  folly  and  injurious  tendency, 
are  descanted  upon  with  mingled  gravity 
and  humor,  and  considerable  talent  and 
truthful  feeling  are  shown  in  the  discus- 
sion. Whether  the  book  have  an  immediate 
run  or  not,  the  soundness  of  its  views,  deli- 
vered with  some  quaititness  of  style,  will 
insure  it  permanent  popularity." — N.  York 
Commercial  Advertiser. 

"Light,  sportive,  graceful  raillery,  ex- 
pressed with  terse  and  delicate  ease.  *  *  * 

"It  is  a  novel  of  fun,  with  grave  notes  by 
way  of  ballast." — Christian  Examiner. 
3 


PUBLISHED    BY  A.  HABT. 

Now  ready,  in  2  vols,  post  Svo.,  price  $2  00,  with  16  Portraits, 

WASHINGTON   AND   THE   GENERALS   0? 
THE   REVOLUTION. 

BY  VARIOUS  EMINENT  AUTHORS. 

CONTAINING 

Biographical   Sketches   of  all   the  JTIajor  and  Brigadier    General* 

who  acted  under  commissions  from  Congress  during1 

the  Revolutionary   War. 


We  hail  these  beautiful  volumes  with 
undisguised  delight.  They  supply,  in  a  dig- 
nified and  comprehensive  form,  valuable 
information,  which  will  be  sought  with  avi- 
dity, not  only  by  the  American  public,  but 
by  the  world  at  large.  The  want  of  a  work 
ofpositive  axtthorily  on  this  subject  has  long 
been  felt  and  deplored.  The  enterprise  and 
good  taste  of  Messrs.  Carey  and  Hart  have 
given  us  two  handsome  and  reliable  vo- 
lumes, betraying  industry  and  talent,  and 
replete  with  facts  of  the  deepest  interest. 
There  is  no  idle  romancing — no  school-boy 
attempts  at  rhetorical  display;  on  the  con- 
trary, the  work  is  written  in  a  clear,  un- 
affected, business-like,  yet  beautiful  man- 
ner. The  authors  had  the  good  sense  to 
think  that  the  stirring  events  of  "the  times 
that  tried  men's  souls,"  needed  no  embellish- 
ment. It  is  a  complete,  impartial,  and  well 
written  history  of  the  American  Revolu- 
tion, and,  at  the  same  time,  a  faithful  bio- 
graphy of  the  most  distinguished  aclors  in 
that  great  struggle,  whose  memories  are 
enshrined  in  our  hearts.  The  typographical 
execution  of  the  work  is  excellent,  and  the 
sixteen  portraits  on  steel  are  remarkably 
well  done.  The  first  volume  is  embel- 
lished with  a  life-like  portrait  of  Washing- 
ton mounted  on  his  charger,  from  Sully's 
picture,  "  Quelling  the  Whisky  Riots."  This 
is,  we  believe,  the  first  engraving  taken 
from  it.  There  are  biographies  of  eighty- 
eight  Generals,  beginning  with  "the  Father 
of  his  country,"  and  closing  with  General 
Maxwell.  To  accomplish  this  task,  we 
are  assured  that  "the  accessible  published 
and  unpubb>hed  memoirs,  correspondence, 
and  other  materials  relating  to  the  period, 
have  been  carefully  examined  and  faith- 
fully reflected."  We  earnestly  commend 
this  work.  It  will  be  found  an  unerring 
record  of  the  most  interesting  portion  of 
our  history.—  The  City  Item. 

This  work  differs  from  Mr.  Headley's, 
having  nearly  the  same  title,  in  many  im- 
portant particulars;  and  as  an  historical  book 
is  much  superior  — N.  Y.  Com.  Advertiser. 

Certainly  ihe  most  comprehensive  and 
individualized  work  that  has  ever  been 
published  on  the  subject — each  member  of 
the  great  dramatis  personal  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary tragedy,  standing  out  in  bold  and 
"sculptured"  relief,  on  his  own  glorious 
qoi  ,}&    -Saturday  Courier. 

This  work  is  a  very  different  affair  from 
the  flashy  and  superficial  book  of  the  Rev. 
J.  T.  Headley,  entitled  "Washington  and 
his    Generals."     It  appears  without   the 


name  of  any  author,  because  it  is  the  joint 
production  of  many  of  the  most  eminent 
writers  in  the  country,  resident  in  various 
states  in  the  Union,  and  having,  from  the 
circumstance,  access  to  original  materials 
in  private  hands,  and  to  public  archives  not 
accessible  to  any  one  individual  without 
long  journey  and  much  consumption  of 
time.  The  result,  however,  is  a  complete 
and  authentic  work,  embracing  biographi- 
cal notices  of  every  one  of  the  Revolution- 
ary Generals.  The  amount  of  fresh  and  ori- 
ginal matter  thus 'brought  together  in  these 
moderate-sized  volumes,  is  not  less  sur- 
prising than  it  is  gratifying  to  the  historical 
reader.  This  will  become  a  standard  book 
of  reference,  and  will  maintain  its  place  in 
libraries  long  after  the  present  generation 
shall  have  enjoyed  the  gratification  of  pe- 
rusing its  interesting  pages,  exhibiting  in  a 
lively  style  the  personal  adventures  and 
private  characters  of  the  sturdy  defenders 
of  American  Independence. — Scott's  Weekly 
Newspaper. 

The  author's  name  is  not  given,  and  from 
what  we  have  read,  we  presume  that  va- 
rious pens  have  been  employed  in  these  in- 
teresting biographies.  This  is  no  disadvan- 
tage, but,  on  the  contrary,  a  decided  benefit, 
for  it  insures  greater  accuracy  than  could  be 
looked  for  in  such  a  series  of  biographies 
written  by  one  person  in  a  few  rnpnths. 
The  volumes  are  published  in  a  very  hand- 
some style.  The  first  sixty  pages  are  oc- 
cupied with  the  biography  of  Washington, 
which  is  written  with  force  and  elegance, 
and  illustrated  by  an  original  view  of  the 
character  of  that  great  man.  *  *  *  The 
number  of  the  biographies  in  these  volumes 
is  much  greater  than  that  of  Mr.  Headley's 
work.  There  are  eighty-eight  distinct  sub- 
jects.— N.  Y.  Mirror. 

We  have  read  a  number  of  the  articles, 
find  them  to  be  written  with  ability,  and  to 
possess  a  deep  interest.  The  author  has 
manifested  excellent  judgment  in  avoiding 
all  ambitious  attempts  at  what  is  styled 
fine  writing;  but  gives  a  connected  recital 
of  the  important  events  in  the  lives  of  his 
heroes.  The  work  will  be  highly  interest- 
ing and  valuable  to  all  readers — particu- 
larly so  to  youth,  who  are  always  attracted 
by  biographies.  If  a  father  wishes  to  pre- 
sent to  his  sons  noble  instances  of  uncor- 
rupted  and  incorruptible  patriotism,  let  him 
place  this  work  in  their  hands.  It  should 
have  a  place  in  every  American  library, 
and  is  among  the  most  valuable  books  of  the 
season. — Baltimore  American. 


NEW  BOOKS  PUBLISHED  BY  A.  HART. 


FEDERAL  ADMINISTRATIONS. 

MEMOIRS 

OF  THE 

ADMINISTRATIONS  OF 
WASHINGTON  AND  JOHN  ADAMS. 

EDITED  FRO*M  THE  PAPERS  OF 
OLIVER  WOLOOTT, 

SECRETARY  OF  THE  TREASURY. 

By  GEORGE  GIBBS. 

u  Nullius  addictus  jurare  in  verta  magistri." 
In  Two  Vols.  Octavo,  1000  Pages,  Cloth,  Gilt, 
Price  $5. 
"  Books  of  this  character  best  illustrate 
the  history  of  the  country.  The  men  who ; 
have  acted  important  parts  are  made  to; 
speak  for  themselves,  and  appear  without 
any  aid  from  the  partiality  of  friends,  or  any 
injury  from  the  detraction  of  enemies." — 
Providence  Journal. 

"  The  materials  of  which  these  volumes  \ 
are  composed  are  of  great  value.  They 
consist  of  correspondence,  now  first  given 
to  the  world,  of  Washington,  the  elder 
Adams,  Ames,  John  Marshall,  Rufus  King, 
Timothy  Pickering,  Wolcott,  &c.  There 
are  thirty-seven  original  letters  from  Alex- 
ander Hamilton,  many  of  them  of  the  highest 
interest;  one  in  which  the  writer  with  keen 
sagacity  and  all  the  splendor  of  his  elo- 
quence, gives  a  characterof  Mr.  Burr  upon 
which  his  own  fate  was  destined  to  put  the 
seal  of  truth,  is  read  now  with  singular 
emotions.  Mr.  Gibbs  has  performed  his 
task  extremely  well.  His  preface  is  modest 
and  dignified.  The  passages  of  narrative 
by  which  the  letters  are  connected  are  ac- 
curate, judicious  and  agreeable;  they  illus- 
trate, and  do  not  overlay  the  principal  ma- 
terial of  the  work." — North  American. 

"Here  we  meet,  illustrated  in  something 
like  forty  important  letters,  the  blazing  intel- 
ligence, the  practical  sagacity,  the  heroic 
generosity,  the  various  genius,  which  have 
made  Hamilton  the  name  of  statesmanship 
and  greatness,  rather  than  the  name  of  a 
man.  Here  we  have  the  piercing  judgment 
of  John  Marshall,  unsusceptible  of  error, 
whose  capacity  to  see  the  truth  was  equalled 
only  by  his  power  of  compelling  others  to 
receive  it;  in  the  light  of  whose  logic  opi- 
nions appeared  to  assume  the  nature  of 
facts,  and  truth  acquires  the  palpableness 
of  a  material  reality;  the  bluntness,  force; 
and  probity  of  Pickering;  the  sterling  ex- 
cellences of  Wolcott  himself,  who  had  no  ; 
artifices  and  no  concealment*,  because  his  > 
strength  was  too  great  to  require  them,  and 
his  purposes  too  pure  to  admit  them;  and 
sounding  as  an  understrain  through  the 
whole,  the  prophet  tones  of  Ames."—  U.  S. 
Gazette. 

"  An  important  and  valuable  addition  to 
the  Jiistorical  lore  of  the  country."—  N.  Y. 
Evening  Gazette. 

"  We  look  upon  these  memoirs  as  an  ex- 
ceedingly valuable  contribution  to  our  na- 
tional records." — N.  Y  Com.  Advertiser. 


PETERS'    DIGEST. 

A  FULL  AND  ARRANGED 

DIGEST  OF  THE  DECISIONS 

In  Common  Law,  Equity,  and  Admiralty 
OF  THE  COURTS  OF  THE  UNITED  STATES, 

From  the  Organization  of  the  Government  in 
1789  to  1847 : 

IN  THE  SUPREME,  CIRCUIT,  DISTRICT,  AND 
ADMIRALTY  COURTS; 

Reported  in  Dallas,  Cranch,  Wheaton,  Peters, 
and  Howard's  Supreme  Court  Reports ;  in 
Gallison,  Mason,  Paine,  Peters,  Washington, 
Wallace,  Sumner,  Story,.  Baldwin,  Brocken- 
brough,  and  McLean's  Circuit  Court  Re- 
ports; and  in  Bees,  Ware,  Peters,  and  Gil- 
pin's District  and  Admiralty  Reports. 

BY  RICHARD  PETERS. 
With  an  Appendix — containing  the  Rules 
and  Orders  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  United 
\  States  in  Proceedings  in  Equity,  established 
by  the  Supreme  Court.  Complete  in  two 
large  octavo  volumes,  law  binding,  raised 
bands,  at  a  low  priee. 


THRILLING  INCIDENTS 


WARS  OF  THE  UNITED  STATES. 

COMPRISING  THE  MOST 

8TRIKING  AND  REMARKABLE  EVENTS 

OF 

The  Revolution,  the  French  War,  the 

Tripolitan  War,  the  Indian  War,  the 

Second  War  with  Great  Britain, 

and  the  Mexican  War. 

WITH  THREE  HUNDRED  ENGRAVINGS. 
BY   THE  AUTHOR  OF 

"The  Army  and  Navy  of  the  United  States." 

In  One  Volume  Octavo,  600  Pages,  with  300 

illustrations  of  Battle  Scenes,  Portraits, 

8fc.  8[c. 


MEMOIRS 

OF  THE 

QUEENS  OF    FRANCE. 

By  MRS.  FORBES  BUSH. 

FROM  THE  SECOND  LONDON  EDITION. 
In  Two  Vols.  12mo.,  with  Portraits. 

"Mrs.  Forbes  Bush  is  a  graceful  writer, 
and  in. the  work  before  us  has  selected  the 
prominent  features  in  the  lives  of  the  Queens 
with  a  great  deal  of  judgment  and  discrimi- 
nation. These  memoirs  will  be  found  not 
only  peculiarly  interesting,  but  also  in- 
structive as  throwing  considerable  light 
upon  the  manners  and  customs  of  pasj 
ages." —  Western  Continent. 

5 


NEW  BOOKS   PUBLISHED   BY  A.  HART. 
MORPIT'S    APPLIED    CHEMISTRY. 


A   TREATISE   UPON   CHEMISTRY, 

IN  ITS  APPLICATION  TO  THE  MANUFACTURE  OF 

SOAPS    AND   CANDLES. 

BEINO  A  THOROUGH  EXPOSITION  OF  THE  PRINCIPLES  AND  PRACTICE  OF  THE  TRAPS 
IN  ALL  THEIR  MINUTIJE,  BASED  UPON  THE  MOST  RECENT  DISCOVERIES  IN 


BY  CAMPBELL  MOEFIT, 

PRACTICAL  AND  ANALYTICAL  CHEMIST. 
With  170   Engravings  on  Wood. 

This  work  is  based  upon  the  most  recent  discoveries  in  Science  and  improvements 
IN  Art,  and  presents  a  thorough  exposition  of  the  principles  and  practice  of  the  trade  in 
all  their  minutiae.  The  experience  and  ability  of  the  author  have  enabled  him  to  produce 
A  more  complete  and  comprehensive  book  upon  the  subject  than  any  extant.  The  whole 
arrangement  is  designed  with  a  view  to  the  scientific  enlightenment,  as  well  as  the  in- 
etrucion  of  the  manufacturer,  and  its  contents  are  such  as  to  render  it  not  only  a  stand- 
ard guide  book  to  the  operative,  but  also  an  authoritative  work  of  reference  for  the 
Chemist  and  the  Student. 

An  examination  of  the  annexed  table  of  contents  will  show  the  invaluable  usefulness 
of  the  work,  the  practical  features  of  which  are  illustrated  by  upwards  of  one  hundred 

AND  SIXTY  ENGRAVINGS  ON  WOOD. 

The  following  synopsis  embraces  only  the  main  heads  of  each  Chapter  and  Paragraph. 
Chap.  1.  Introductory  Remarks.  I  Spermaceti,  Delphinine,  Neats 

"        2.  The  Dignity  of  the  Art  and  its  Re-  ?  feet  Oil. 

lations  to  Science.  \  Chap.  17.  The  Constituents  of  Fats,  their 


3.  Affinity   and   Chemical   EquivU' 

lents : — Explanation  of. 

4.  Alkalies.  —  Lime,   Potassa,  Soda, 

Ammonia. 

5.  Alkalimetry. 

6  Acids.— Carbonic,  Sulphuric,  Hy- 
drochloric, Nitric,  Boracic. 
Acidimetry. 

7.  Origin  and  Composition  of  Fatty 

Matters. 

8.  Saponifiable  Fats—  Oils   of  Al- 

mond, Olive,  Mustard,  Beech, 
Poppy,  Rapeseed,  Grapeseed; 
Nut  Oil,  Linseed  Oil,  Castor 
Oil,  Palm  Oil,  (processes  for 
bleaching  it;)  Coco  Butter, 
Nutmeg  Butter,  Galum  Butter, 
Athamantine. 

9.  Adulteration  of  Oils. 

10.  Action  of  Acids  upon  Oils. 

11.  Volatile  Oils.— The  Properties  of, 

and  iheir  applicability  to  the 
Manufacture  of  Soaps. 

12.  Volatile  Oils:— Their  Origin  and 

Composition;  Table  of  their 
Specific  Gravities. 

13.  Essential  Oils:  —  The   Adultera- 

tions of.  and  the  modes  of  de- 
tecting them. 

14.  Wax:— Its  Properties  and  Com- 

position. 

15.  Resins  :  —  Their  Properties   and 

Composition;  Colophony  and 
Gallipot. 

16.  Animal   Fats   and   Oils. :— Lard, 

Mutton  Suet,  Beef-lallow,  Beef- 
marrow,  Bone-fat.  Soap-grease, 
Oil-lees.  Kitchen-stun",  Human- 
fat,  Adipocire,  Butter,  Fish-oil, 


Properties  and  Composition: 
Stearine,  Stearic  Acid  and 
Salts;  Margarine,  Margaric 
Acid  and  Salts;  Olein,  Oleic 
Acid  and  Salts;  Cetine,  Cetylic 
Acid ;  Phocenine,  Phocenic 
Acid  and  Salts  ;  Butyrine,  Bu- 
tyric Acid  and  Salts;  Caproic, 
Capric  Acid;  Hircine,  Hircic 
Acid;  Cholesterine. 

18.  Basic    Constituents    of  Fats:  — 

Glycerin   Ethal. 

19.  Theory  of  Saponification. 

20.  Utensils:—  Steam   Series,    Buga- 

diers  or  Ley  Vats,  Soap  Frames, 
Caldrons,  &c. 

21.  The  Systemized  arrangement  for 

a  Soap  Factory. 

22.  Remarks,—  Preliminary    to    the 

Process  for  Making  Soap. 

23.  Hard    Soaps:—  "  Cutting    Pro- 

cess;" Comparative  Value  of 
Oils  and  Fats  as  Soap  ingredi- 
ent, with  Tables  ;  White,  Mot- 
tled, Marseilles,  Yellow,  Yan- 
kee Soaps;  English  Yellow  and 
White  Soap,  Coco  Soap.  Palm 
Soap.  Butter  l^oap,  English 
Windsor  Soap,  French  Wind- 
sor Soap.     Analyses  of  Soaps. 

24.  Process  for  Making  Soap: — Pre- 

paration of  the  Leys,  Empa- 
tage,  Relargage,  Coc lion,  Mot- 
tling, Cooling. 

25.  Extemporaneous  Soaps:  —  Lard, 

Medicinal,  "  Hawes,"  "  Ma 
quer,"  and  '*  Darcet's"  Soaps 

26.  Silicated    Soaps  :—  Flint,    Sand, 

"  Dunn's,"  "  Davia's"  Soaps. 


NEW  BOOKS   PUBLISHED   BY  A.  HART. 


Chap.  27.  Patent  Soaps.— Dextrine,  Salina- 
ted  Soaps,  Soap  from  Hardened 
Fat. 

"      28.  Anderson's  Improvements. 

u  29.  Soft  Soaps:— Process  for  Making, 
Crown  Soaps,  "Savon  Vert." 

"  30.  The  Conversion  of  Soft  Soaps  into 
Hard  Soaps. 

"  31.  Frauds  in  Soap  Making  and 
Means  for- their  Detection. 

41  32.  Earthy  Soaps,  Marine  Soap.  Me- 
tallic Soaps.  Ammoniacal  Soap. 

"  33.  Soap  from  Volatile  Oils:—  Star- 
ky's  Soap,  Action  of  Alkalies 
upon  Essential  Oils. 

"  34.  ilSavons  Acides,"  or  Oleo-acidu- 
lated  Soap. 

"  35.  Toilet  Soaps :  —  Purification  of 
Soaps,  Admixed  Soap,  Cinna- 
mon, Rose,  Orange  -  flower, 
Bouquet,  Benzoin,  Cologne, 
Vanilla,  Musk,  Naples,  Kasan 
Soaps,  Flotant  Soaps,  Trans- 
parent Soaps,  Soft  Soaps,  Sha- 
ving Cream;  Remarks. 

"  36.  Areometers  and  Thermometers: — 
their  use  and  value. 

"      37.   Weights  and  Measures. 

■      33.  Candles. 

"      39.  Illumination. 

"      40.  Philosophy  of  Flame. 

"      41.  Raw    Material  for    Candles:  — 


Modes     of    Rendering    Fats, 
"Wilson's  Steam  Tanks. 
Chap. 42.  Wicks:  —  Their  use  and  action. 
Cutting  Machines. 
"      43.  Of  the  Manufacture  of  Candles. 
"      44.  Dipped  Candles:—  Improved  Ma- 
chinery for    facilitating  their 
Manufacture. 
*'    45.  Material  of  Candles:  —  Process 

for  Improving  its  Quality. 
"      46.    Moulded     Candles:  —  Improved 
Machinery  for  facilitating  their 
Manufacture.— "Vaxeme,"  or 
Summer  Candles. 

1  .  47.  Stearic  Acid  Candles:—  Adamant- 
ine and  Star  Candles. 

1  43.  Stearin  Candles :  —  Braconnot's 
and  Morfit's  Process. 

:      49.  Sperm  Candles. 

1  50.  Palmine,  Palm  Wax,  Coco  Can- 
dies. 

1  51.  Wax  Candles  .-—Mode  of  Bleach- 
ing the  Wax,  with  drawings  of 
the  apparatus  requisite  there- 
for; Bougies,  Cierges,  Flam- 
beaux. 

1  52.  Patent  Candles  :  — "  Azotized," 
Movable  Wick  and  Goddard's 
Candles  ;  Candles  on  Continu- 
ous Wick;  Water  and  Hour 
Bougies,  Perfumed  Candles. 
53.  Concluding  Remarks.     1 


Vocabu- 


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CAREY  &  HART,  have  recently  published 

A  NEW  EDITION  OF 

THE  WAVERLEY  NOVELS, 

By  SIR  WALTER  SCOTT, 

With  all  the  Author's  latest  Notes  and  Addi- 
tions, Complete,  without  the  slightest 
Abridgment. 
In  Five  Royal  8vo.  volumes,  upwards  of 
S50  Pages  in  each  volume. 

[CONTENTS. 

Waverley,  Guy  Mannering,  Antiquary* 
Rob  Roy,  Black  Dwarf,  Old  Mortality, 
Heart  of  Mid-Lothian,  Bride  of  Lammer- 
moor,  Legend  of  Montrose,  Ivanhoe,  The 
Monastery,  The  Abbot,  Kenilworth,  The 
Pirate,  Fortunes  of  Nigel,  Peveril  of  the 
Peak,  Quentin  Durward,  St  Ronan's  Well, 
Redgauntlet,  The  Betrothed,  The  Talisman, 
Woodstock,  The  Highland  Widow,  Two 
Drovers,  My  Aunt  Margaret's  Mirror, 
Tapestried  Chamber,  The  Laird's  Jock, 
Fair  Maid  of  Perth.  Anne  of  Gierstein, 
Count  Robert  of  Paris,  Castle  Dangerous, 
The  Surgeon's  Daughter. 

The  object  of  the  publishers  in  thus  re- 
ducing the  price  of  the  Waverley  Novels, 
is  to  endeavor  to  give  them  a  greatly  ex- 
tended circulation,  and  they  have,  there- 
fore, put  them  at  a  price  which  brings  them 
within  the  reach  of  every  family  in  the 
country.  There  is  now  no  fireside  that 
need  be  without  a  set  of  the  most  charming 
works  of  fiction  ever  issued  from  the  press : 
for  there  is  no  one  that  can't  afford  two 
dollars  and  a  half— TWO  DOLLARS 
AND  A  HALF  for  twenty-five  of  Sir  Wal- 
ter Scott's  Novels !  ten  cents  for  a  com- 
plete Novel !  !  ten  cents  for  "  Ivanhoe,** 
which  was  originally  published  at  a  guinea 
and  a  half.  ! !  It  seems  impossible,  and  yet 
it  is  true.  In  no  other  way  can  the  same 
amount  of  amusement  and  instruction  be 
obtained  for  ten  times  the  money,  for  the 
Waverley  Novels  alone  form  a  Library. 

The  publishers  wish  it  to  be  distinctly 
understood,  that,  while  the  price  is  so  great- 
ly reduced  the  work  is  in  no  way  abridged, 

but  is  CAREFULLY   PRINTED   FROM,  AND  CON- 
TAINS EVERY  WORD  IN  THE  LAST  EDINBURGH 

Edition,  in  forty-eight  volumes,  which  sells 
for  seventy-two  dollars. 

Now  is  the  time  to  buy !  Such  an  oppor- 
tunity may  never  again  occur.  Let  every 
one,  then,  who  wants  the  Waverley  Novels 
ror  two  dollars  and  a  half,  now  purchase,  fof 
f  the  publishers  do  not  find  the  sale  greatly 
increased,  by  the  immense  reduction  la 
price,  they  will  resume  the  old  price  ot 
twenty-five  cents  for  each  Novel,  which 
was  considered  wonderfully  eheap. 


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A.  HART'S   STANDARD   WORKS. 

THE    MODERN    BRITISH    ESSAYISTS 
x         At  less  than  Half  t»rice.  . 

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Comprising  the  Critical  and  Miscellaneous  Writings  of  the  Most  Distinguished  Author* 
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ONE  HALF. 
The  writings  of  each  author  will  generally  be  comprised  in  a  single  octavo  volume, 
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Babington  Macaulay,  Archibald  Alison.  Rev.  Sydney  Smith,  Prof&ssor  Wilson, 
James  Stephen.  Robert  Southey,  Sir  Walter  Scott,  Lord  Jkffrey,  Sir  James  Mack- 
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I.  5  Ranke's  History  of  the  Popes.  Cowley  and 

"SWITi&r*  ATTT  /&"!?■  s  Milton,   Mitford's   History  of  Greece,  The 

IffiLJ&Af  A U uA  &  .  )  Athenian  Orators,  Comic  Dramatists  of  the 

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12 


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